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IOC and CBD raise awareness of progress on EBSAs

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) have issued a joint letter to National Coordinating Bodies and Member States’ Permanent Delegates and Observers to UNESCO in order to raise awareness of the progress made in the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs). The letter draws attention to the 204 marine areas that meet the EBSA criteria, which have been described via a series of regional workshops...

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) have issued a joint letter to National Coordinating Bodies and Member States’ Permanent Delegates and Observers to UNESCO in order to raise awareness of the progress made in the description of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs).

 The letter draws attention to the 204 marine areas that meet the EBSA criteria, which have been described via a series of regional workshops convened by CBD over the past 4 years. Results from nine of these workshops were presented to the CBD Conference of the Parties in its 11th and 12th meetings, and results from the more recent workshops will be presented at the meetings of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) and CBD COP in 2016. A series of reports summarising the outcomes of the regional EBSA workshops that have been considered by CBD COP to date are now available in six languages via the CBD website. 

The letter also highlights the important collaboration between IOC and CBD in the drive for protection of marine ecosystems, and in particular the role of IOC’s Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) as a primary data source for the regional EBSA workshops organised and implemented by the CBD. It is hoped that the scientific information on areas meeting the EBSA criteria will be helpful to supporting national efforts to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. 

The letter is accompanied by a short annex that outlines the CBD’s work and processes involved in the description of EBSAs. The regional EBSA summary reports can be accessed online via the CBD’s website as follows: 

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