UNIVERSITY OF NEW CALEDONIA AND FRENCH RESEARCH INSTITUTE JOIN FORCES

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NOUMEA, New Caledonia (August 2, 2000 – Oceania Flash/SPC)---The University of New Caledonia (UNC) and the French Institute for Research and Development (IRD) have signed an agreement to promote exchanges and initiate formal cooperation, the daily newspaper Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes reports.

The main collaboration will be in UNC's future research units, which will be conducted in close cooperation with IRD.

Paris-based IRD President Philippe Lazar and newly elected UNC chancellor Paul de Dekker formally signed the agreement at the residence of French High Commissioner Thierry Lataste.

The newly signed agreement could result in joint studies as early as next year, most likely on lagoon ecosystems, reef mapping or Kanak culture and language.

Professors, scientists and students will also be shared between the two institutions.

"It also aims at contributing to a better dissemination of French scientific know-how and knowledge in the Pacific," the accord says.

UNC was created last year, together with its French Polynesian counterpart, Université de Polynésie. Both establishments were formerly one entity, known as Université Française du Pacifique.

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