It has been ten years since GOBI was established to support the process under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to describe ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs). In that time, whilst continuing to support the CBD, GOBI’s remit has expanded, gaining new partner organisations and generating scientific evidence in support for the conservation of biodiversity in the world’s oceans.
As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations, GOBI hosted a dedicated session at the 4th World Conference on Marine Biodiversity (WCMB), held on 13-16 May 2018 in Montreal, Canada. As well as fondly looking back at its origins and achievements to date, speakers at the session showcased how GOBI is shaping the future by engaging with other United Nations bodies such as the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), and by supporting globally significant research programmes that are already influencing high-level discussions about the protection of biodiversity within and beyond areas of national jurisdiction. Speakers included Joseph Appiott (CBD), Lyle Glowka (CMS), Henning von Nordheim (BfN) and Kristina Gjerde (IUCN), amongst others.
In addition to the dedicated session at WCMB, GOBI hosted an eye-catching exhibition booth in collaboration with the CBD, which proved popular with conference participants. From there, the latest edition of the GOBI newsletter was launched, as well as screening informative films on EBSAs, a recent expedition to the Costa Rica Thermal Dome, and a demonstration of the soon-to-be-launched Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean knowledge portal. Informative booklets and reports produced by the CBD were also distributed.
GOBI’s presence at WCMB did not go unnoticed, and the keen interest shown by conference participants is testament to the scope, quality and relevance of GOBI’s work. GOBI still has plenty to deliver under its current work programme, so watch this space for updates!