PML whose charitable aims include making science work for society has been shortlisted in the “environment and conservation” category of ‘The Charity Awards’, Civil Society Media’s annual awards programme held to identify, recognise and reward those organisations doing exceptional work in all areas of charitable activity.
Whilst PML carries out world class research across a range of marine scientific disciplines it the leadership of the Europe-Africa Marine Earth Observation Network (EAMNet) project that has caught the attention of the judges and led to it being included in the final shortlist of three.
Improving marine observation in Africa
In order to ensure a sustainable ocean for future generations, it is necessary to monitor and understand what is happening to this vast resource. However, after many years of working in the international arena, it was evident to Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) that monitoring around the African coast was not as advanced as in other areas of the world. Furthermore, the skills within many African nations to undertake marine research were limited.
The Europe-Africa Marine Earth Observation Network (EAMNet) is a collaborative project linking Earth observation information providers, user networks and centres of excellence in Europe and Africa in the area of coastal and marine observations. It aims to provide African nations with the resources they need to manage their environment more effectively and ensure long-term sustainable development in the region, to help in the alleviation of poverty.
As well as improving marine data provision for African countries, a key success of EAMNet has been to create a network of African and European scientists that provides a focus for marine and coastal activities and enables African scientists to engage in strategic policy development; these collaborations are likely to continue into the future.
It has also provided fellowship opportunities for 28 early career professionals to develop their expertise by working alongside experienced researchers in Africa or Europe.
The nominees will be judged by a respected panel of voluntary sector heavyweights, each of them leaders in their own fields with years of experience of leading and managing Civil Society organisations. Charity Awards judge John Low described it as “important work”; Danielle Walker Palmer said it was an entry that had “global strategic impact”.
PML scientist and leader of EAMNet Steve Groom is delighted that this scientifically and societally important work has been judged worthy of inclusion in the shortlist:
“EAMNet has been a very rewarding project with genuine impact across Africa: not only has it provided relevant science to inform policy and management, it has, more importantly, created a network across the continent .This group will continue to share knowledge and experiences which will be of immense benefit to African societies”.