From 24-26 February, a delegation from WMU visited several agencies in Canada with the aim of strengthening partnerships and collaboration. Members of the delegation included Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President, Senior Advisor Neil Bellefontaine, Professor Meinhard Doelle, Canadian Chair, and Adjunct Professor Larry Hildebrand.
The delegation met with The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. The meeting provided the opportunity to discuss the ongoing fellowship programme funded by Canada that is focused on Gender Empowerment as well as future areas of cooperation including further research opportunities under the UN Decade of Ocean Science initiative.
Additional visits included Transport Canada (TC) where discussions focused on continuing the long-standing support to WMU that began with the establishment of the Canadian Professorial Chair in Marine Environment Protection in 2006 and includes TC’s on-going support of WMU’s research as well as field studies to Canada for WMU students.
At the Canadian Coast Guard, discussions focused on the implementation of an action plan based on the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding on Academic Cooperation.
Discussions at the Canadian Maritime Chamber of Commerce focused on ways to strengthen collaboration with the Canadian shipping industry, and meetings with Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Bureau of International Education focused on ways to support capacity-building education at WMU.
In addition to partnerships and support already mentioned, Canada has also provided support for WMU events including the International Conference on Safe and Sustainable Shipping in a Changing Arctic Environment (ShipArc 2015), and the 2019 WMU Empowering Women in the Maritime Community Conference for which sponsorship was provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. In addition, numerous students have benefited from field studies to Canada, and an agreement with Dalhousie University provides invaluable collaboration opportunities.
The Government of Canada also provided generous support to the newly inaugurated WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (GOI) in 2018 and in 2019, Canada provided the GOI with funding for a WMU PhD Scholarship and Post-Doctoral Fellowship Programme on Gender Empowerment in support of the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development through research, education and capacity building.