June 7, 2024

BioProtect project launches to protect marine life

In response to the pressing challenges that human activities and climate change pose to marine ecosystems, the European Union is funding the BioProtect project with 8 million euros to protect and restore marine biodiversity in the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic.


The project is coordinated by the Matís research institution in Iceland and brings together 18 partners from 8 countries, including 5 Portuguese institutions: CIIMAR-UP, the University of Aveiro, INESC TEC, Okeanos at the University of the Azores and the AIR Centre. Over the next four years, these partners will collaborate to develop innovative, adjustable and scalable solutions focused on a set of marine ecosystems, with the aim of conserving biodiversity in European seas.


The Portuguese role

Designed with the EU’s 2030 goals and the European Green Deal in mind, the BioProtect project has brought together a robust network of partners and designed a collaborative approach to move towards a new era of marine biodiversity conservation and recovery in Europe’s seas. Portugal, with its vast connection to the sea and such an extensive national maritime space, has a leading role to play when considering the conservation and restoration of marine biodiversity in the Atlantic.


CIIMAR’s commitment

Joana Xavier, a researcher at CIIMAR, emphasizes the dynamics of BioProtect in Portugal by highlighting the joint potential of the skills of all the partners: “In addition to the international dimension, this project will also allow us to consolidate collaboration between national partners who have complementary skills in the areas of exploration and observation of marine habitats, experimentation with deep-sea organisms, development of marine technology and robotics, as well as socio-ecology and marine governance. This networking is crucial if we are to advance not only knowledge but also solutions and strategies that support the sustainable management of this common good that is marine biodiversity.”


The BioProtect project consortium met for the first time on May 22 and 23, 2024 in Copenhagen, Denmark. This event brought together all project partners in a collaborative effort to plan the project’s next steps and begin developing impact-oriented solutions that effectively address biodiversity loss and climate change.