Dear colleagues and friends,
After two years of COVID, the European Marine Biological Symposium is back! It has been a very hard period: COVID still represents a health issue, but also a socio-economic one. On top of this: the Ukraine war and its impact on the climate crisis. Our scientific community can react to this disastrous series of events by promoting and safeguarding marine science through exchanges of solid scientific ideas, in peaceful collaboration: scientific diplomacy is particularly urgent. The 55th EMBS meeting in Gdańsk, Poland, a highly inspiring place in a country at the border of this senseless conflict, is a step in this direction.
The achievement of environmental policy objectives is particularly challenging in this period. The ecological transition, the shift from fossil fuels to blue-green energy sources, is far from being accomplished. This step is fundamental to achieve the environmental targets set several years ago and always postponed. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, the Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, among the others, build a formidable framework towards sustainability. For the moment, the targets were not reached. The 55th EMBS will call for more courageous choices at political level, so as to reverse the biodiversity crisis.
As scientists, we know that solutions are still at hand. The EMBS proposes cutting edge themes: from new tools and findings addressing molecular mechanisms of natural processes in the marine environment, to discoveries of unrecognized and lesser-known traits of the diversity and physiology of marine organisms across levels of biological organization, passing through hot topics of multiple stressors and the urgent need for a careful management of living resources.
Come to the next 55 EMBS, it will be more than an European congress on marine biology: it will be a new opportunity for our community to take up the challenges imposed by present and future environmental issues through interdisciplinary research, and set forth on a path towards a sustainable use of our seas.