The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) in partnership with the South African Embassy in Comoros hosted an open day aboard its research and polar vessel the SA Agulhas II, on Monday, in Comoros.
“The exposure that the scientists of the Comoros have had in the past few days on this vessel, as well as the visit by the young students, is a way by South Africa to say to the people of Comoros, especially its children that we care about your future and the development of your country,” said Ambassador of the Comoros, Mbulelo Bungane.
Visitors enjoyed guided tours of the vessel, from its state-of-the-art science laboratories to the lounge area which is dedicated to the late South African music icon Miriam Makeba.
The vessel was dedicated to the icon in recognition of her role in the struggle towards South Africa’s democracy.
Guests also had an opportunity to engage and learn about South Africa’s second training and capacity building voyage for the Second International Indian Ocean Expedition II (IIOE2).
The IIOE2 is a multi-national programme of the United Nations Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) which emphasises the need to research the Indian Ocean and its influence on the climate and its marine ecosystem.
The IOC recognised that there was a persistent lack of basic long-term environmental information in the Indian Ocean, particularly for developing countries surrounding the Indian Ocean.
On-board were the Department of Environmental Affairs research staff and trainee-participants from Tanzania, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Congo, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
“South Africa is inviting the Comoros through its scientists and the schools for a partnership that will be mutually beneficial to our countries and peoples.
“Let the scientific work and demonstrations that have started on this vessel be a foundation for future cooperation in the areas of marine science, biodiversity, and conversation of the ocean environment. Indeed in the whole Ocean Economy sector, and turn this potential into an engine for growth and development,” Bungane said. – SAnews.gov.za