March 2011 / March 2015
Participation in the European Project ACCESS
Under UPMC leadership and involving 27 partners from 10 countries, the ACCESS project (Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society) was selected in response to the first call «The Ocean of Tomorrow» of the EU 7th Framework Program Research and Development (FP7-OCEAN-2010) under Transport, Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Energy, Environment, Socio-economic sciences and Humanities supervision.
The objective of the call is to build the knowledge for a sustainable growth of sea-based activities a) by improving understanding of marine ecosystems’ response to a combination of natural and anthropogenic factors and b) by providing a scientific foundation for feasible, sustainable management measures supporting policies and possible related technologies.
The strategy highlights the importance of integration between established marine and maritime research disciplines, in order to reinforce excellence in science and to reconcile the growth of sea-based activities with environmental sustainability. The cross-thematic «ocean of tomorrow» calls seek to implement this commitment. Maritime transport, tourism, offshore energy, resource extraction, coastal development, fisheries and aquaculture may have a major impact on the marine environment. The European Union has taken up this challenge and established a new integrated maritime policy, of which the Communication “A European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research” (COM (2008) 534) is a fundamental part.
Climate change is strongly impacting both marine ecosystems and human activities in the Arctic, which in turn has important socio-economic implications for Europe. ACCESS will evaluate the latest Arctic climate change scenarios and establish their impacts on marine transportation (including tourism), fisheries, marine mammals and the extraction of hydrocarbons in the Arctic for the next three decades with particular attention to environmental sensitivities and sustainability. Understanding the socio- economic impacts of these changes on markets, economies and on European policy objectives along with their influence on Arctic governance are key areas of research within ACCESS. An open and inclusive forum will give the opportunity to all stakeholders interested in the ACCESS consortium activities and crosscutting research, to interact with ACCESS partners.
ACCESS is composed of 5 integrated working groups. These groups perform the interdisciplinary research needed to address societal, economic, ecosystem and policy consequences of current and projected climate change impacts in the Arctic Ocean by :
- Understanding the complex workings of the ocean-ice-atmosphere system within the Arctic Ocean through a combination of monitoring and modelling
- Assessing the opening of marine transportation in the Arctic Ocean north of Europe and Siberia, through the Canadian Archipelago and across the North Pole in the context of climate change
- Examining Arctic fisheries, aquaculture and livelihoods in the context of climate change
- Foreseeing the development of Arctic offshore oil and gas activities with respect to the harsh environment and in the context of possible climate change scenarios
- Assessing the interplay of Arctic institutions, governance strategies and policy options with regard to Arctic states, indigenous peoples and global civil society in the context of climate change.