United Nations
New tools to support the conservation and sustainable management of marine biodiversity
by Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) (Partnership)
The Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) is an international partnership of organisations committed to advancing the scientific basis for conserving biological diversity in the marine environment. In particular, GOBI contributes expertise, knowledge and data to support the Convention on Biological Diversitys efforts to identify ecologically and biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) by assisting a range of intergovernmental, regional and national organisations to use and develop data, tools and methodologies. GOBI also undertakes research to generate new science that will enhance the value of EBSAs and their utility for promoting environmental protection and management for specific areas of the worlds oceans. The intention is ultimately to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss through the application of ecosystem approaches to the management of human activities, and to support the establishment of networks of representative marine protected areas in national and international waters.

The Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative, supported by funding from Germany's International Climate Initiative (IKI) and GOBI partners, is implementing a 5-year programme of work that focuses on developing a suite of tools for the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity in the open ocean, including the seabed.
Building on current and emerging techniques and by developing new methodologies, this work will produce ocean biogeographies, enhance our understanding of migratory species movements and connectivity in the world's oceans, and enable better protection of ecosystems facing specific threats, such as those at hydrothermal vents and at key offshore upwelling systems (e.g. Costa Rica Thermal Dome).
Results will provide a solid framework for development of management options for specific regions, ecosystems or individual species across the world's oceans. These outputs will enable better recognition of the value of marine biodiversity, assist biodiversity conservation efforts and support countries in achieving their national commitments. Ultimately the objective is to enhance the utility of biological and ecological information associated with the Convention on Biological Diversity's Ecologically or Biologically Significant Area (EBSA) process, and other conservation activities in the oceans.
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • No take marine protected area
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
  • Other (please specify): Development of no-mining areas in international waters
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
April 2021
Sub-regional biogeographies developed for the Western South Pacific and the Indian Ocean, promoting connectivity and ecological coherence in spatial management.
April 2021
Enhanced understanding of migratory species movement and ecosystem connectivity in the world's oceans, supported by publicly-accessible databases and visualisation tools, and contributing to the identification of areas of critical importance for marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and seabirds.
April 2021
Model governance scheme for the High Seas area of the Costa Rica Thermal Dome, east Pacific Ocean.
April 2021
Scientifically-justified spatial management network designs for the preservation of biological diversity, ecosystem structure and function at hydrothermal vents on the mid-Atlantic Ridge in the light of potential risks from deep-sea mining activities
Financing (in USD)
5,820,000 USD
Financing (in USD)
647,500 USD
Staff / Technical expertise
Expert knowledge and insight from the marine scientific community, both from within the GOBI partnership and from the broader marine conservation arena
Other, please specify
Financing is from International Climate Initiative (EUR 5.19M) and GOBI-IKI partners (Seascape Consultants, CSIRO, Duke University, MarViva, Tethys Institute, BirdLife) (EUR 0.5M)
Basic information
Time-frame: May 2016 - April 2021
Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (Partnership) International Climate Initiative (Government) Seascape Consultants Ltd (Private sector) Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Government) Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment (Academic Institution) MarViva Foundation (Philanthropic organisation) BirdLife International (Non-governmental organisation) Tethys Institute (Academic institution)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Convention on Biological Diversity Convention on Migratory Species Governments of Central America International Seabed Authority Government of the Republic of Seychelles Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme Other regional marine
Contact information
Victoria Gunn, GOBI Secretariat, vikki.gunn@seascapeconsultants.co.uk, +44 (0)1794 367797
Romsey, UK
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