As well as providing technical support to the EBSA process, GOBI partners are involved in a number of projects and research activities that contribute valuable data and information to the EBSA process and to the wider marine conservation agenda.

GOBI’s central project is a 5-year programme of work funded by Germany’s International Climate Initiative. This research started in summer 2016 and comprises a range of scientific activities carried out by GOBI partners CSIRO, Duke University, MarViva Foundation, BirdLife International and the Tethys Research Institute. The project’s overarching objective is to use EBSA descriptions as the basis for promoting environmental protection and management for specific areas of the world’s oceans.

This work will help CBD determine the strengths, challenges and limitations of marine and ecosystem data availability. This includes current and emerging techniques, methodologies and expert knowledge. In data-deficient regions, predictive modelling of the occurrence, abundance, movement and range of species or ecosystem features will play an important role. GOBI will therefore contribute to the CBD’s Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and associated Aichi Biodiversity Targets by working up detailed biological information, ocean biogeographies and by integrating data on migratory species and hydrothermal vent ecosystems.

The programme of work is split into six scientific themes: