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In the Gulf of Aqaba, where it all begun
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Warm welcome from a key regional partner
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Swiss Foreign Minister on science diplomacy
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Red Sea uncharted geopolitical waters
Expedition

The expedition postponed to 2022 due to the immobilisation of the Fleur de Passion following an incident in the Gulf of Aqaba

Expedition

Le Transnational Red Sea Center was forced to suspend its first expedition season along the Sudanese coasts

Expedition

A little more than a month after her arrival in the Gulf of Aqaba and sometimes tedious logistical preparations

Expedition

First days at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat pier

Expedition

Watch the video of the official launch of the first expedition season

Expedition

It is now official: the Transnational Red Sea Center at EPFL will conduct its first expedition season

Expedition

Swiss sailboat Fleur de Passion arrived safely in Aqaba, Jordan, on June 10th after a six-week navigation

The Center

"More science in diplomacy, more diplomacy in science" evoked by the Federal Councillor, Ignazio Cassis

Expedition

Discover the ceremony organized in Seville at the Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation

Science

A new research gives additional insight into the specific genetic factors that allow Red Sea corals to survive

Expedition

Fair winds to Swiss sailboat Fleur de Passion and her crew, who set sails from Seville towards the Red Sea

Expedition

The departure of Fleur de Passion for the Red Sea was the subject of a series of events organised in Seville

The Center

Ambassador Alexandre Fasel’s mission will be to strengthen Geneva's role as a digital governance hub

Science

A major discovery helps explain the symbiotic relationship between corals and algae

The Center

The official launch of the Transnational Red Sea Center in March 2019 in the Swiss federal capital Bern

Mission

The Transnational Red Sea Center is a scientific research center created in 2019 at the Ecole Polytechnique fédérale in Lausanne (EPFL) with the official support of the Swiss Foreign Ministry. An independent and not-for-profit organization, the Center capitalizes on Switzerland’s neutrality, its longstanding tradition of promoting dialogue and its reputation for scientific excellence in order to bridge science and diplomacy for the future of coral reefs. In the Red Sea and beyond.

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The first ever Red Sea-wide coral reef ecosystem and biodiversity «Baseline»

The Transnational Red Sea Center is planning a series of expeditions on board the Swiss sailboat Fleur de Passion, as the first phase of its long-term vision. The 33-meter long ketch will be the logistical platform for scientific work and the flagship for outreach activities at the regional and global level. These expeditions are scheduled to start in July 2021 and take place over the summers of 2021-2024, when the water temperature in the region is at its highest. Their ambition is to progressively cover the ca. 4’500 km coastline of the eight Red Sea countries: Egypt, Eritrea, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, and Djibouti.

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Pioneering studies

Since the early 2010s, pioneering scientific studies have gradually revealed to the world the excep-tional resistance of the corals of the Gulf of Aqaba (and by extension the Red Sea) to climate change, due to their specific genetics. The origins of this unique characteristic, which makes the Red Sea the last ‘refuge’ for corals in the world, lie in the fact that Red Sea corals have progres-sively and very slowly recolonised this environment, which became a sea again at the end of the last Ice Age, from the Indian Ocean. In their slow northward migration, they have gradually adaptedto the extreme temperature conditions that prevail in the Bab el-Mandeb, the strait that separates the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean.

Since these initial studies, many others have undertaken to better understand a phenomenon of colossal significance for the entire planet, at a time when corals are disappearing on a massive scale everywhere but the Red Sea due to rising temperatures and ocean acidification.

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