Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute 50 years supporting the ocean: tomorrow starts now

Press Release 03/06/2016

'Oceans are our future. They are also our legacy, and most importantly, they mirror our actions. We will have the Oceans that we deserve.'

 Patricia Ricard, Chairwoman of the Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute


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 June 8th marks World Oceans Day. Their protection is absolutely essential in preserving the environment and combatting global warming. Oceans have never been under such threat as they are today. As early as 50 years ago, following one of the first incidents of industrial pollution in the Mediterranean, namely the discharge of red sludge off the coast of Cassis, near Marseille, Paul Ricard, along with seafarer Alain Bombard, founded the Oceanography Institute. Its mission: know, spread knowledge and protect the sea.

For the past 50 years, the Institute is carrying out its research in the Mediterranean, considered by scientists as a true model ocean. Its work offers solutions founded on nature for a better relationship between man and the sea according to an ecosystemic approach. By being based on nature, it develops comprehensive solutions able to meet global challenges.

 In this way, the Institute has continued to conquer new fields of research: studying the quality of inshore waters and campaigning for water treatment plants, quality of swimming water and contamination monitoring, developing aquaculture farms, developing a natural process for breaking down oil spills using marine bacteria, studying the impact of the increase in CO2 on organisms, implementing a ban to protect groupers, experimental nurseries and restoring environments, and biomimetics.

Established in 1966 on the island of Les Embiez, the Institute has today become a research centre of international renown. Its work incorporates the recommendations resulting from the COP21 climate conference, which highlighted for the first time the fundamental role of the oceans in climate regulation: a healthy ocean equals a protected climate.

The Institute is now chaired by Patricia Ricard. A member of the Ocean & Climate Platform, it develops scientific and educational partnerships with French, European and international institutions such as IMBE (Mediterranean Institute of Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecology), the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Kotor Institute of Marine Biology (Montenegro), the Universities of Pavia (Italy) and Busan (South Korea), the Scripps Research Institute (California), the European Fisheries Fund and the PACA (Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur) region.

 In 2016, the Institute is celebrating five decades of commitment and presenting its projects for the future. Two main events will take place in Paris and on the island of Les Embiez: 
- June 23rd, Paris: launch of a global programme of scientific sponsorship for young researchers developing solutions for the planet; 
- July 9th, island of Les Embiez: 'Conscience Builders' scientific conference: Discussions & Solutions for the Protection of the Oceans, with notably, Françoise Gaill, Director of Research at CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research) and Scientific Coordinator of the Oceans & Climate Platform; Nardo Vicente, Scientific Manager of the Institute; and Gilles B'uf, scientific advisor to the Minister for the Environment and the Sea. Unveiling of the exhibitions 'Delving to the Depths of the Mediterranean: Miniature Ocean / Model Ocean' and 'Seahorses', and performance of Laborigins by Marie-Odile Monchicourt.

'The best way to fight is to lead by example'
         Paul Ricard, Founder

About the Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute

 The Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute is located on the island of Les Embiez, in the Var district. Since 1966, it has been a true look-out post over the Mediterranean sea. As early as the 1990s, its researchers conducted experiments on the consequences of the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere on the development of marine phytoplankton. Today, through several programmes supported by both the public and private sectors, research is geared towards marine biodiversity and the impact of climate change, the preservation of heritage species (e.g. seahorses), the management and monitoring of living resources (e.g. edible sea urchins), ecological restoration (e.g. artificial reefs), the study of nature-based solutions (e.g. biofouling) and the impact of emerging molecules such as endocrine disruptors on marine organisms (e.g. seahorses). This wealth of research underlines the deep commitment of the Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute to the issue of climate change and forms part of a policy to protect the species and habitats upon which such work depends. The Institute remains one of the rare examples of private sponsorship in the field of the protection of the oceans and scientific research.

About Pernod Ricard: CSR and environmental charter

 Pernod Ricard is the world's No 2 in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of '8,558 million in 2014/15. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of approximately 18,500 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 'Brand Companies' and 85 'Market Companies' established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard's strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics.

Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.

Paul Ricard Oceanography Institute Contacts (ADL Conseil):

Colombe de LA TAILLE, Communication and Image                             +33 (0)6 09 80 59 26

Raphaële DIAIS, Press                                                                                 +33 (0)6 09 45 44 54


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