A UNESCO Chair of Marine Sciences was inaugurated on October 1 at the University of Québec at Rimouski (UQAR. Focusing on the integrated analysis of marine systems, the Chair will draw on specialists in the areas of oceanography and marine resource management.
The inauguration ceremony for the UNESCO Chair at UQAR was attended by (from left) Patrick Huot, MNA for Vanier and parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks; Michel Ringuet, rector of the University of Québec at Rimouski (UQAR); Jean-Claude Brêthes, chair holder and research professor at Rimouski’s Marine Science Institute (ISMER-UQAR); and Ariane Plourde, director of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Maurice Lamontagne Institute.
The creation of the UNESCO Chair was announced in Paris last June by Michel Audet, representative of the Government of Québec in Canada’s permanent delegation to UNESCO, and by Savithri Narayanan, head of the Canadian delegation to the session of the Executive Council of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
The Chair’s experts in the area of integrated analysis of marine environments will play a key role in implementing policies aimed at protecting marine ecosystems and their biodiversity through research, training and documentation activities. In addition, membership in the UNESCO Chair network will facilitate exchanges between UQAR and post-secondary institutions in various world regions.
Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, Minister of International Relations and Minister Responsible for La Francophonie, expressed her great satisfaction that Québec will be hosting the new Chair, in addition to seven other UNESCO Chairs already established in the province (out of a total of 11 in Canada). According to Ms. Gagnon-Tremblay, this achievement reflects international recognition of the expertise of UQAR’s marine science researchers and will facilitate knowledge sharing, particularly via university exchange activities. The Government of Québec supported the creation of the Chair.
The United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) undertakes initiatives in a variety of fields, most of which fall within provincial areas of jurisdiction. Launched in 1992, the UNESCO program now has some 200 Chairs in the hard and natural sciences. The Chairs are partners of choice in efforts to promote science, sustainable development and environmental protection.
UNESCO Chair in Integrated Analysis of Marine Systems (in French)
Québec’s representation in Canada’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO