The MISTRALS General Assembly sets up a research, training and innovation consortium for the Mediterranean
20 March 2012
The General Assembly of MISTRALS' programme (Mediterranean Integrated STudies at Regional And Local Scales) met in Malta on 13 March 2012. As a key member of the French delegation attending the meeting, the IRD was represented by Bernard Dreyfus, Executive Director for Science, Ghani Chehbouni, co-director of MISTRALS, and Said Jabbouri, General Coordinator of the IRD in the Mediterranean region.
In the continuity of the Malta Declaration proclaimed in April 2011, the objective of the meeting was to establish a pan-Mediterranean research, training and innovation consortium whose mission would be, for a decade, to promote and coordinate research in order to predict the habitability of the Mediterranean over a century.
A clear consensus on the relevance of MISTRALS programme was expressed by the representatives of different countries attending the meeting, in particular South and East Mediterranean countries. Furthermore, most participants endorsed the setting-up of an international working group responsible for carrying out MISTRALS activities ad interim , until the next General Assembly. This group, which consists of seven members (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, France, Spain, Italy, Lebanon), will have the task of proposing modes of governance for the legal body which will direct MISTRALS and which could also serve as a consultation platform for other cooperation initiatives between the southern and eastern countries of the Mediterranean and the northern ones.
Finally, the Malta meeting also provided an opportunity to officially launch the regional programme of scientific cooperation Envi-Med, dedicated to research in the field of sustainable development in the Mediterranean. Being in line with the MISTRALS strategy, Envi-Med aims to support research internationalization in the Mediterranean and to contribute to regional integration of the least developed countries of the region as regards the study of the functioning of the Mediterranean basin in all its aspects.