06/02/2007


Tara - At the ministerial forum on the environnement

From February 5th to February 9th a meeting between sixty or so ministers of the environment coming from the whole world is organised at the United Nations Environment Programme headquarters in Nairobi (Kenya).

Nelly Olin, Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Growth will represent France. 

The day of the opening, a special conference on Polar issues will take place on the occasion of the International Polar Year which will be launched a few weeks later on March 1st 2007. 

The executive director of the UNEP, Achim Steiner and the Norwegian Minister of the Environment, Helen Bjørnøy, will intervene to underline in particular the importance of the Polar Regions on the global planet scale. 

The figures are always as alarming! In the Arctic, the polar ice surface has diminished between 8 and 10% in the past 30 years. And the pack ice has lost 45% of its thickness during the same time. 

Etienne Bourgois, director of the Tara Arctic expedition, has been invited to participate in this conference so as to testify of the Tara ship´s expedition. 

Tara is at the heart of the important monitoring device of the Arctic Sea deployed by the European scientific programme DAMOCLES to update climate models. 

Indeed, in the past five months a first crew of eight volunteers, with different nationalities, French, Russian and New Zealander, are totally self sufficient on the pack ice far away from any inhabited land. 

Every day, they accomplish ten different scientific programmes pertaining to the ocean, the pack ice and the lower atmosphere. These programmes are implemented despite the cold, the isolation and the difficult conditions of ice that enable a boat just to survive in this hostile environment. 

Thousands of data are sent daily by Tara to the Damocles programme laboratories in Europe, Russia, Japan and the United States. 

It is important for Etienne Bourgois, managing director of agnès b and director of the Tara Arctic expedition to demonstrate that companies and more widely the civil society can also act in favour of the environment.  

Site : http://www.unep.org/gc/gc24/french 

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