The completion last week (22-27 September 2019) of an EBSA regional workshop targeting the Northeast Atlantic Ocean formally concludes the region-based global coverage of the EBSA process (with the exception of the Southern Ocean, which has its own similar process in place). Forty experts, scientists and representatives from a handful of inter-governmental organisation gathered in Stockholm, hosted by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, to select areas that meet the EBSA criteria. By the end of the workshop, 17 such areas were selected and described, ranging from the European coast to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
The descriptions of the 17 candidate EBSAs will now be reviewed by the CBD’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA). Once reviewed, the SBSTTA will pass on its conclusions and recommendations to the CBD at its 15th Conference of the Parties in the final quarter of 2020.
Now that all the world’s oceans have been subjected to a ‘first pass’ of the EBSA process, discussions are taking place on how the process can evolve to incorporate new information and adapt to a changing environment. GOBI and its partners are actively engaged in such discussions.