The Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) is Germany-wide the only research institute for the study of tropical and subtropical marine ecosystems and their services to human societies.
The mission of ZMT is to provide a scientific basis for the protection and sustainable use of tropical coastal ecosystems by conducting research, capacity building and consulting activities in close cooperation with international and national partners
As one of the first research institutes in Germany, ZMT, from its very beginning in 1991, genuinely brought together the key disciplines for the holistic assessment of marine resource use and management in the tropics. Today, ZMT continues to play a leading role in the integration of social and natural science approaches, as well as transdisciplinary stakeholder involvement processes bridging the science-practice gap.
With its inter- and transdisciplinary approach to the study of tropical coastal systems, ZMT has earned a special position within the German marine research environment and it sets the agenda for coastal science cooperation between Germany and partner countries in the tropics.
The Articles of Association (Gesellschaftsvertrag) lay out the mission of ZMT as follows:
- fundamental scientific research in priority areas of tropical marine ecology and related fields
- scientific assessment of applied projects in the field of tropical marine ecology and related areas
- academic education and training in Germany and tropical countries,
- transfer of research results
- provision of expert scientific advice, and
- advice in particular to the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and the Federal Government on issues of marine research, especially its expansion and development as well as on matters of scientific cooperation with countries in the tropics
ZMT regards its mission as a great responsibility to conduct excellent research and to sustain its credibility. Its institutional culture is determined by self-responsibility, transparency, respect, reliability and an eye-level communication.
Following its mission to provide a scientific basis for the sustainable management of tropical coastal ecosystems, ZMT is deeply convinced that the internalisation and application of sustainability principles in management are connected intimately with a thorough and holistic Capacity Development (CD) at all societal levels. ZMT is contributing to this by strengthening academia in Tropical, mainly Developing Countries putting special emphasis on the empowerment of women.
The ZMT conducts research projects in close cooperation with the partners from the tropics. In order to provide a clear guidance to these projects to implement the cooperation goals, the ZMT has developed specific criteria. These "Bremen Criteria" contribute to meeting the scientific and developmental needs of the tropical partner countries by promoting the establishment of long-term projects with intensive involvement of partner scientists and unrestricted exchange of data and information.