Two hundred days before the 2020 Vendée Globe is due to start, and on this 50th Earth Day, the skippers of the IMOCA Class underline their support for the scientists of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.

In a short video, the sailors from five nationalities shared positive messages, from the confinement of their homes, about their commitment to science at sea. In their testimonials, these sailors already well accustomed to the solitude at sea, talked about the ocean they love and how they are contributing to a better understanding of the ocean through measuring human impacts in remote areas of the Southern Seas.

Ocean monitoring has also been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

On Monday 20th April, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission organized a virtual meeting to inform Permanent Delegations to UNESCO of the responses provided by the Commission to identify impacts from the Covid-19 crisis and ensure the continuity of its programmes and services.

The partnership signed with the IMOCA Class on 31st January featured as one of the highlights of the discussion. The film was shared with nearly 160 delegations from 195 Member States who praised the work and enthusiasm behind this initiative which brings together scientists and sailors on the frontline to measure and address climate change.

These skippers see first-hand the impact humanity is having on the ocean as they push their limits in the most isolated regions of the planet. This gives some of them a deep motivation to contribute to the work of researchers in the fields of ocean and climate observation.

IMOCA and UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (through JCOMMOPS, which internationally coordinates and monitors the global in situ ocean observing system) are working tirelessly to mobilize scientists and mariners, in the context of near-global containment rules, to ensure that ocean observations and the wealth of knowledge they can bring to policy-makers remain at the top of the political agenda during the next Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).

More infos about the partnership IMOCA - IOC-UNESCO