Patrice Franceschi and his crew are setting off this time on an official mission for the Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development, Jean-Louis Borloo. The “mission letter” delivered to Patrice Franceschi by the Minister and his Secretaries of State, Dominique Bussereau and Nathalie Kosciusko Morizet, is like an echo through the ages of that received by Louis-Antoine de Bougainville several centuries ago to launch his frigate La Boudeuse on a round-the-world expedition from 1766 to 1769. Bougainville was the first navigator to take “learned men” – as they were then known – with him and thus became the first to sail the seas in the name of science rather than simply for commercial, political, financial, military or diplomatic reasons..
The Terre-Océan mission is today one of the “field” operations of Grenelle de la Mer (a French project geared towards improving environmental issues associated with the sea) and was launched on 27 February 2009 on board La Boudeuse when it was docked in Paris. The concerns of the Grenelle de la Mer project are many and reflect the desire to preserve the planet for future generations: the protection of the environment and biodiversity, the fight against global warming, sustainable development, energy management, etc.
Within this context, the Terre-Océan mission will investigate issues that concern both the oceans and the earth, as the earth is the source of rivers which in turn are an extension of the earth. Hence the name of this mission which brings together two worlds which are too often separated, but in reality, are but one. As the future of the earth lies most certainly with the sea, bringing them together is the only way to build the future of mankind.
Above and beyond the scientific research it will undertake, the Terre-Océan mission is also something in the nature of a vast awareness-building campaign for environmental objectives among the general public. It aims to try and ensure that man always remains a key concern in order to promote a genuine humanist ecology based on sustainable development. Therefore, in order to build the public’s awareness, the expedition will produce films and reports aimed at the general public both in France and around the world, in partnership with France Télévisions and Agence France Presse amongst others.
The Terre-Océan mission will last two years. La Boudeuse will sail from South America to the Pacific Ocean passing Cape Horn in beginning 2011. Two years of research seems to be the absolute minimum amount of time which will be required to complete such a mission. If necessary, the mission may be extended by such time deemed necessary to achieve its objectives.
Environment, biodiversity, sustainable development, climate change, biospheric studies, state of the water and pollution, territorial observation, geophotography, the relationship of man with his environment, protection of the environment, cultural dialogue.