U.S. and French LTER networks sign MoU to share knowledge and skills

Network News Spring 2013, Vol. 26 No. 1
Network News

On the sidelines of the 2013 LTER mini-symposium at NSF in February and also emphasizing international collaboration in ecological research, the U.S. LTER and France’s Zone Atelier (ZA-France) networks signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) committing the two networks to share knowledge and skills through collaboration among sites and scientists.

Signing on behalf of LTER, Chair Scott Collins observed “We are very pleased to establish a more formal working relationship between the US and French LTER networks.” Former ZA-LTER France director Yvan Lagadeuc, representing current scientific director Gudrun Bornette, added: “Our goal with this signature is to confirm our common commitment to new projects and also exchanges of collaborators and skills.”

The ZA- LTER France network was created by the French ministry of research in 2000. It is now managed by the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and its Institute for Ecology and Environment. Currently comprising 11 member sites and more than 600 collaborators (researchers, engineers, technicians, and graduate students), the network offers a diversity of socio-ecological systems allowing long-term research on ecology and interactions between humans and nature.

The two Networks’ envision a society in which long-term ecological knowledge contributes to the advancement of the health, productivity, and welfare of the global environment, thereby advancing human well-being. This vision underpins a common mission, which is to provide the scientific community, policy makers, and society with the knowledge and predictive understanding necessary to conserve, protect, and manage their nations’ ecosystems, their biodiversity, and the services they provide.

The signing ceremony at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., was witnessed by Frédéric Doré, the Minister Counselor to the French Ambassador, Mr François Delattre, Françoise Gaill, the policy officer for the Institute for Ecology and Environment of the CNRS, Xavier Morise, who signed on behalf of the President of the CNRS, several scientists affiliated with both LTER networks, and NSF officials.