During the third substantive session (August 2019) of the Intergovernmental Conference to negotiate a legally binding international instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction at UN Headquarters in New York, GOBI and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, with the support of the Governments of Costa Rica and France, staged a well-attended side event looking at the role of data as the foundation for area-based management tools.
Following introductory remarks by Dr Joseph Appiott (CBD Secretariat), Vice Minister Haydée Rodríguez Romero (Ministry of Environment and Energy, Government of Costa Rica) and H.E. Serge Segura (Ambassadeur charge des oceans, Government of France), Dr Jorge Jiménez (Director General, MarViva Foundation) highlighted how data have been compiled at a sub-regional scale to inform future governance of the Costa Rica Thermal Dome. The event launched an Atlas of the Thermal Dome of Costa Rica, seen as a step further from the experience of MarViva Foundation to raise awareness of the Dome and its relevance. With its eye-catching cover photo of a Blue shark (Prionace glauca) the Atlas represents a major compilation of biological information.
Prof. David Johnson set out efforts to assess ecosystem status at ocean basin scale, drawing on results from the EU ATLAS Project. This presentation highlighted best available scientific evidence, spatial and temporal scales, long-term monitoring and international cooperation – all key elements of the negotiation. Comments were received from Dr Cyrille Barnerias (French Biodiversity Agency) and Dr Vikki Gunn (EU iAtlantic Project) reinforcing the need to build baselines for area-based management tools. H.E. Rodrigo Carazo (Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Mission of Costa Rica to the United Nations) commended the side event and its relevance to the on-going negotiations.