3rd MAF WORLD Management Meeting – SOPOT – Poland.

3rd MAF WORLD Management Meeting – SOPOT – Poland.

Time goes fast!  We recently have celebrated the third face-to-face meeting of the COST Action MAF WORLD took place in the beautiful city of Sopot, hosted by the Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IO PAN). These in-person gathering brought together COST Action MAF WORLD members from the Core Group and Management Committe, which are vital for networking. These working sessions always infuse new energy into our network, helping us stay focused and motivated as we strive to achieve our goals before the Action concludes. This meeting was not only inspiring but also crucial for setting the course for several upcoming initiatives and activities.

The most important points during the meeting included:

  1. Advances in Working Groups:
    • Each working group presented their recent progress, highlighting significant developments and ongoing research.
    • Discussions focused on collaboration opportunities and integrating findings to enhance the collective impact of the MAF WORLD initiative.
    • Future options for the continuity of the network beyond COST Funding
  2. Training School in Banyuls-sur-Mer:
    • Scheduled from September 25th to 29th – 2024, the training school will focus on restoring marine animal forests.
    • Emphasis was placed on finalising the curriculum, identifying key speakers, and ensuring a comprehensive and practical learning experience for participants.
  3. Master Structure on Marine Animal Forest:
    • Plans to develop a Master’s program dedicated to Marine Forests were discussed.
    • Strategies for promoting the program, engaging academic institutions, and attracting students were outlined.
    • The next meeting will be held probably in November to continue the discussion on this topic.
  4. Coffee Table Book on Marine Animal Forest:
    • A proposal for a coffee table book was introduced. The book aims to showcase the three-dimensionality and functionality of marine animal forests visually and engagingly.
    • Ideas for content, contributors, and publication timelines were debated, focusing on making the book an educational and promotional tool.
  5. Progress on the Toolbox Book
    The book will feature 26 chapters, each addressing different aspects of marine animal forests. Some publication options are: 
    • Springer: Considered, but open access costs are high.
    • Open Europe Journal: Contacts have been made to explore more affordable open-access options.
  6. Future Training School
    WG6 will be responsible for organising the training school on ecosystem services next year.

The meeting concluded with a shared commitment to continue advancing the objectives of the COST Action MAF WORLD, focusing on education, research, and the promotion of marine animal forests, with actionable steps laid out for the upcoming months.

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