President, Paul Ricard Oceanographic Institute
BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background
Patricia Ricard appointed in 1986 to the Board of Administration of the Institut océanographique Paul Ricard, founded in 1966 by Paul Ricard, her grandfather, industrialist and pioneering ecological campaigner. The mission of the Institute is to know, to make known and to protect the sea. She has been President of the Institute since 2005.
Moreover, in 1991, she has founded with Marie-Pierre Cabello the Mardis de l’Environnement (Tuesday Environment Meetings) and still chairs and runs today this monthly cycle of lectures, a forum for discussions between experts and environment stakeholders. Since 1992, she also chairs and organizes numerous documentary film festivals on the sciences of man and nature. At the Davos World Economic Forum (1999, Switzerland), she was ahead of her time in presenting a selection of industrial films focused on the environment. From 1995 to 2008, she founded, launched and presented the magazine programme Vert de Terre on the MCM channel. In parallel, she became between 1998 and 2001 presenter and editor of a weekly programme (52’) on nature and the environment on the Planète Forum channel. Besides, she also presents small chronicles on Radio de la Mer and Radio France International (RFI) in 2008.
By this time, she also is member of the Board of Administration of the European Institute of Ecology (Institut Européen d’Ecologie) (2007), member of the Board of Administration of WWF France (2008) as well as Technical Councillor for sustainable development for the Var Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Réunion des Chambres de Commerce et d’Industrie du Var) (2008). In 2009, she is appointed permanent member of the Advisory Board of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands (Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises – TAAF) and participates in the national multi-stakeholder environmental consultative body La Grenelle de la Mer, group 3, and the Operational Research Committee. A year later, she became member of the Special Commission of the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and the Sea, for terminology and neology relative to the environment and is appointed to the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Conseil Economique, Social et Environnemental) as a person qualified in matters regarding the environment. From 2011 and 2012, she is member of the Board of Management of the French National Parks Authority (Parcs Nationaux de France), member of the Board of Management of the Marseille Water Board (Société des Eaux de Marseille) and member of the Board of Administration of Véolia Foundation.
In 2013, she has joined the French naval reserve with the rank of Capitaine de Corvette (Lieutenant Commander), and be assigned to the Advanced Naval Studies Centre (Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Marine - CESM) in Paris.
She has cofounded in 2014 the CEEBIOS, European Centre of Excellence in Biomimicry, Senlis (Centre Européen d’Excellence en Biomimétisme de Senlis) and, the next year, has written a study on biomimicry and sustainable development for the French Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CESE).
ACHIEVEMENT/ What is your project, initiative, start-up, company all about?
The Institut océanographique Paul Ricard is a non-profit organisation (French association), founded in 1966 by Paul Ricard and Alain Bombard with the aim of extending knowledge of the sea and protecting it. The institute runs a Research Centre with a permanent team of scientists. Its work, which has been recognized by the award of the Grand Prix of the French academy of sciences, is in phase with a sustainable development approach, focusing on the sea as an ecological and economic asset, a common estate to be preserved, managed and restored. The Institut océanographique Paul Ricard staff study the damage and the negative impact on the coastal marine environment resulting from human activities and propose solutions. Providing information and enhancing awareness among the general public on the major environmental issues is the other mission of the Institut océanographique Paul Ricard.
LOCATION/ In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities?
Mainly in France and in the Mediterranean area.
IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental… impact of your activity, project, initiative, start-up, company?
The Institut océanographique Paul Ricard was founded in 1966 on the basis of an innovative concept for the marine environment: to associate research and public outreach as two mutually dependent tools for a single ecological project.
The work of carrying out research and of providing information for the general public is undertaken by scientists who seek:
– to understand various mechanisms in the field of marine biology and ecology with the aim of providing solutions to certain environmental problems
– to provide information to as many people as possible of the knowledge acquired
The results achieved have been significant:
– the development of a natural degradation product for black tides, used to depollute the beaches of Alaska following the grounding of a tanker
– new legislation for the preservation of the edible sea urchin and a moratorium on underwater fishing of the grouper
– the voting in of a pollution control plan for urban waste on the coasts of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (S.E. France), by means of awareness raising actions, and in particular the film ‘Pollution and damage on the Mediterranean coast’
– Training provided for 250 young scientists at MSc level and supervision of around 30 PhDs
– visits to the Institute’s aquarium, on the island of Les Embiez (near Toulon), by a million visitors since its opening
– the organization of several lecture series in Paris, Toulon, Marseille and Les Embiez, enabling the public to develop an informed opinion on the increasingly complex issues of the environment
– the publication of books, production of films, organization of exhibitions
QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you
“The sea is both our past and our future”
“Protecting the sea is the best way we have of keeping our feet on the ground”
“Sustainability goes hand in glove with profitability”
“Good for the planet, good for the pocket.”
Photo credits: Micheline Pelletier