Partner Country United Kingdom
The United Kingdom can look back on a long tradition of marine and maritime research. The Federal Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom enjoy successful cooperation in these fields. That is why we will also take advantage of Science Year 2016*17 to cast our gaze across the North Sea. We will present exciting approaches to research, intriguing facts and numerous marine and maritime experts from the United Kingdom as well as information on German-British cooperation in this field.
There are close links between Germany and the UK in the field of marine research. These bonds have existed ever since the German naturalists Johann and Georg Forster joined James Cook on his second journey to the Pacific from 1772 to 1775. Today, there are close ties between research institutions and researchers.
Oceans have a special meaning for the United Kingdom as an island state. The United Kingdom is therefore delighted to be Germany's partner country in the Science Year 2016*17.
The seas around our coastlines and the oceans beyond have shaped the history and identity of our island home throughout its existence. They provide the United Kingdom with a huge range of economic, social and cultural benefits, including food, energy, trade routes and tourism. New knowledge and innovative technologies are opening up exciting opportunities, such as the development of new medicines and tidal energy schemes, and form part of our continuing special relationship with the seas today.
Put simply, our seas and oceans are vital for our existence. They give us nearly half the oxygen we breathe, support 80 percent of the Earth's biodiversity, and have an important impact on the Earth's climate.
Our influence on the marine environment, combined with climate change, is threatening our oceans and seas. We're already seeing the retreat of the polar ice caps, ocean acidification and rising sea levels. Scientists predict that increases in sea level could directly affect the 17 million people in the United Kingdom living within 10 km of the sea, as well as important national infrastructures and much of our manufacturing industry.
We need to understand these changes to be able to respond to them; marine science is the key to doing so.
Jo Johnson, the British Minister of State for Universities and Science, says: "The ocean is the largest feature on Earth. It affects every aspect of our lives, from food security and weather patterns to climate change. This is an important opportunity for countries to work together to raise the profile of ocean science. I'm delighted that we'll be partnering with Germany for its Year of Science, working together to look at how we protect the oceans and seas and use them sustainably".
German Research Minister Johanna Wanka says, "We have to reverse the trend as far as the protection of the seas and oceans is concerned - the future of the ocean is a central topic for the G7 and must be addressed jointly. We are emphasizing this issue once again by taking on the United Kingdom, a nation of seafarers, as our partner country in this Science Year. We want to raise public awareness of the cooperation between German and British scientists and researchers, who have been working hand in hand in marine research for many years and have produced excellent results."