Man has had a long and intimate association with the sea. It has borne his commerce and brought food to his nets; its tides and storms have shaped the coast where his great cities have grown; the broad estuaries have provided safe harbors for his ships; and the rhythm of its tides has taught him the mathematics and science with which he now reaches for the stars (U.S. Department of the Interior 1969).
On behalf of the Scientific and International Organizing Committees, the Institute of Oceanology-Varna and the Black Sea Commission, we would like to welcome all of you to the beautiful capital of Bulgaria – Sofia.
The Conference is convened to address a global issue of high scientific, social and political relevance ‘Climate change in the Black Sea’. The Sea that is a special area of ecological concern for more than three decades. But here we do not refer to the MARPOL ‘special areas’ definition. We are talking about the special place that all of us have in our hearts for the Black Sea. The profession ‘marine scientist’ is not a romantic one, but it is a profession for people with romantic souls. And we spend our lives loving the Sea, trying to feel the rhythm of its dynamics and face all the challenges its environment has offered. Here is the new one: Global Climate Change threat to the Earth and the Black Sea projections. As Al Gore would say “we have the generation mission to mobilize resources and political will” to help nature adapt and avoid future catastrophe.
We hope this Black Sea Conference, will provide the opportunity to share new knowledge and experience, to discuss “hot” ideas and address urgent questions, formulate adaptation strategies and contribute to further advancement of science and management. We believe the results of the discussions will be fruitful, the conclusions of the Conference – important and will help us improve our understanding of climate change in the Black Sea region and the challenges in adaptation to it. The Conference will not end on 9th of October 2008, but it will be continued and perpetuated in special volumes of JEPE Journal, in which the best contributions will be published.
The preliminary hard work for this Conference started more than one year ago. We collected the contributions of over 160 scientists, arranged in four major sessions. Only 62 oral presentations were selected because of the tight schedule of the Conference. The contributions which are assigned to the poster sessions were given 2-3 minutes time in the evenings for short oral presentations of main insights and messages.
We are greateful to all the scientists and Institutions for the trust they placed in us when we invited them to contribute to the successful preparation and holding of the Conference. Without the commitment and hard work of the scientists and financial support from the Institutions, it would have been impossible to have the high quality meeting we managed to organize in Sofia.
We wish you a very pleasant stay in Sofia, interesting and fruitful collaboration during and after the Conference.
|Assoc. Prof., Dr. Snejana Moncheva||Dr. Violeta Velikova|
|Deputy Ditector-IO-BAS, Varna||Pollution Monitoring and Assessment Officer|
|Bulgaria||Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution|