18.11.16 | On November 9 and 10, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and of the Chinese marine research authority State Oceanic Administration (SOA) met in the town of Xiamen in Southern China for the 19th meeting of the German-Chinese steering committee for coastal, marine and polar research. Dr. Tim Jennerjahn represented the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT).

During constructive negotiations bilateral project outlines in the framework of the second funding call for German-Chinese research activities in the above detailed areas have been fine-tuned and new innovative projects for joint funding have been chosen, which are due to start in the middle of next year.

In the run-up to the meeting of both ministries a workshop was held, which saw scientists of both countries present current activities. One team of researchers is currently investigating long-term climate changes in coastal areas of southern China. Topics in polar research and the causes of ocean acidification are also of interest to both parties. A large bilateral project (ECOLOC), which is coordinated by ZMT, is dealing with the costal ecosystem on the tropical island of Hainan, its protection and the sustainable use of its natural resources.

China is taking part in international projects within marine research with globally acknowledged publications. In particular in research areas related to marginal sea and coastal regions comparative studies are of great interest.

Following the discussions the German delegation had the opportunity to visit a newly built research vessel by the Chinese Third Institute of Oceanography. The ship with a length of 100 metres and space for up to 40 scientists features the latest technology and is also suitable for the use of AUVs. German researchers will be able to use the vessel in the framework of scientific-technical collaborations together with their partners in the research area of the South China Sea.