December 1995, in Manila, Filipino President Fidel V. Ramos and Vietnam President Le Duc Anh signed the agreement to conduct the JOMSRE – SCS.
The main objectives of the program were:
- To increase goodwill of the leaders of the two countries through marine scientific cooperation in the South China Sea.
- To increase understandings of natural processes on marine environment and resources, especially in the Spratly islands
Under the framework of this agreement, till now Vietnam and Philippines have conducted together 4 expeditions: JOMSRE-SCS I (1996), JOMSRE-SCS II (2000), JOMSRE-SCS III (2005) and JOMSRE-SCS IV (2007).
In Vietnam, the first expedition JOMSRE-SCS I was carried out by Ha Noi University of Natural Science, with the participation of two scientists from the Institute of Oceanography.
Later, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology was assigned by the Government to lead this program on the Vietnam side, and the Institute of Oceanography was the main implementing institution of the other three expeditions: JOMSRE-SCS II, III and IV.
The first expedition was conducted from April 24th to May 9th 1996, hosted by the Philippines. Before the cruise, on April 23rd 1996, President Fidel V. Ramos received the two Vietnam and Filipino investigation teams at presidential palace, where he emphasized the significance of the expedition to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between the two countries as well as to solve the disputes in the South China Sea peacefully.
The cruise began in Manila, on board of the Filipino RPS Explorer, and ended in Ho Chi Minh city. Data and samples were collected from 20 stations. The main investigation fields were: marine physics, chemistry, biology, geology and coral reef ecology.
There were 12 scientists from each side participated in the cruise. Prof. Le Duc To from Ha Noi University of Natural Science was the chief of the Vietnam team, and Dr. Gil S. Jacinto from Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines was the Filipino chief scientist.
The cruise summary workshop was conducted in Ha Noi from April 22nd to 23rd, 1997, with 13 presentations. The Workshop Proceedings was published.
JOMSRE-SCS I Cruise track (1996)
JOMSRE-SCS II was conducted from May 27th to June 2nd 2000, hosted by Vietnam.
The Vietnamese investigation team comprised of 15 members, carried out surveys on marine physics, hydrometeorology, biology, chemistry, geology and coral reef ecology. JOMSRE-SCS II was carried out on board of Vietnam research vessel Bien Dong, started from Nha Trang to Manila. Vice Prime Minister Nguyen Manh Cam received the Filipino chief scientist. Prof. Dang Vu Minh, president of Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology gave a reception to welcome the two scientific teams.
The chief scientists were Dr. Bui Hong Long from the Institute of Oceanography, Vietnam and Dr. Gil S. Jacinto from the Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines.
JOMSRE II scientific workshop was organized from July 22nd to 26th in Manila, with the participation of 7 Vietnamese delegates.
JOMSRE-SCS II Cruise track (2000)
JOMSRE-SCS III was conducted on board of Filipino BRP Hydrographer Presbitero from 14th to 26th of April, 2005, presided by the Philippines.
The investigation area was in Spratly islands (Northeast Cay, Northwest Cay and Fiery Cross Reef). The investigation focused on marine physics, chemistry, geology, plankton, biodiversity (corals, coral fishes, seagrass, seaweed, invertebrates). There were 11 scientists from the Vietnamese side participated in this expedition.
The chief scientists were Dr. Bui Hong Long from the Institute of Oceanography, Vietnam and Dr. Angel C. Alcala from Silliman University, Philippines.
The cruise summary workshop was conducted in the Philippines from February 27th to March 2nd, 2006.
JOMSRE-SCS III Cruise track (2005)
JOMSRE-SCS IV was conducted from 17th to 29th April 2007, hosted by both Vietnam and Philippines.
Investigation fields included: marine physics, chemistry, geology, environment, plankton, marine biodiversity and toxins.
Investigation area: Spratly islands.
Research vessel: Filipino BRP Hydrographer Presbitero.
Chief scientists: Dr. Bui Hong Long from the Institute of Oceanography, Vietnam and Dr. Angel C. Alcala from Silliman University, Philippines.
Cruise summary workshop was conducted in Dumaguete, Philippines on May, 2nd 2007.
JOMSRE-SCS IV Cruise track (2007)
JOMSRE-SCS RESEARCH VESSELS:
BRP Hydrographer Presbitero (Philippin)
R/V BIEN DONG (Vietnam)
RPS Explorer (Philippin)
Conference on the Results of the Philippines-Vietnam Joint Oceanographic and Marine Scientific Research Expedition in the South China Sea (JOMSRE-SCS I to IV):
The Conference was conducted in Halong city, Vietnam from 26th to 29th March 2008. Participants of the conference were Vietnam and Filipino scientists taken part in JOMSREs, representatives from several Vietnam ministries, international organizations in Vietnam, Embassies of the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia and Indonesia in Vietnam, and Malaysian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation.
20 papers were presented at the Conference, summarizing the results of the four JOMSRE expeditions from 1996 to 2007 in different research fields such as: marine physics, geology, chemistry, environment, biology, biodiversity and toxicology.
The Conference proceedings was published in 2008, in English in the Philippines and in Vietnamese in Vietnam. The launching ceremony of the English proceedings was hold on December 11th 2008 in the Philippines, and that of the Vietnamese proceedings was organized in Nhatrang, Vietnam on March 27th, 2009.
This is the first bilateral cooperation project on marine investigation in the South China Sea in the region, in which the investigation area were the territorial waters of the two countries and the international waters
With outstanding achievement and contribution to this cooperation program, in 2010, IO’s team and Prof. Dr. Bui Hong Long, the Director of IO, the Vietnam chief scientist of JOMSRE-SCS II, III and IV were awarded the Certificate of Merit from the Vietnamese Government, six IO’s scientists and managers were awarded the Certificate of Merit from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.
The Conference on the Results of the Philippines-Vietnam Joint Oceanographic and Marine Scientific Research Expedition in the South China Sea (JOMSRE-SCS I to IV) was also regarded as an activity to end up the first phase of the cooperation program. Until now, the two sides are continuing to discuss to reach an agreement on the implementation of the 2nd phase of the program.
Reporters: Do Minh Thu & Bui Thi Minh Ha