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Volume 43 - Number 3 - 2008

Plankton monitoring and analysis in the oceans: capacity building requirements and initiatives in Latin-America

Carmen E. Morales1


1Centro de Investigaciones Oceanográficas del Pacífico Sur-Oriental (COPAS), Estación de Biología Marina, Departamento de Oceanografía, Universidad de Concepción, Casilla 44 Dichato, Chile



Both scientific and technical capacities are key issues for achieving the objectives of understanding the functioning of the oceans, conserving their health and resources, and predicting the impacts of climate change. Many international programmes related to ocean studies and monitoring, as well as those concerning global climate change, include `capacity building' as a fundamental process in order to achieve these objectives. Capacity building (CB) in the context of ocean monitoring and research describes the actions concerning the development, fostering and support of infrastructure, resources and relationships for ocean science and related systems and services at individual, organizational, inter-organizational, regional and system levels. The purpose of this document is to define the CB components which are essential for the accomplishment of the objectives of large-scale scientific programmes and initiatives dealing with monitoring and analysis of planktonic communities in the oceans. These components include: a) training of students, technicians, and scientists, b) availability of platforms and instrumentation for time-series sampling and sample analyses, and c) access to information systems and networking for the exchange of data and information. How these components could be included in specific CB actions or have been partially accomplished in the Latin-American region are here discussed


Key words: Plankton studies, regional capacities, national and international initiatives




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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