Citation Information: GOBI; A background document for the CBD expert workshop on scientific and technical guidance on the use of biogeographic classification systems and identification of marine areas beyond national jurisdiction in need of protection, Ottawa, Canada, 29 September – 2 October 2009
Authors: Jeff Ardron, Daniel Dunn, Colleen Corrigan, Kristina Gjerde, Patrick Halpin, Jake Rice, Edward Vanden Berghe, Marjo Vierros
Executive Summary: The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted in 2008 scientific criteria for identifying ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) in need of protection. The application of these criteria will specifically focus on the open oceans and deep seas, which encompass regions of the Earth that we have only started to explore. While much scientific discovery lies ahead, available information and current and emerging methodologies already allow us to begin identifying oceanic features that are likely of particular ecological or biological importance.
In order to facilitate this process, the CBD COP decided to convene an expert workshop to review and synthesize progress on the identification of areas beyond national jurisdiction which meet the adopted CBD scientific criteria. There are an increasing number of scientific techniques that could be used in application of each of the seven criteria (Uniqueness or rarity; Special importance for life history of species; Importance for threatened, endangered or declining species and/or habitats; Vulnerability, fragility, sensitivity, slow recovery; Biological productivity; Biological diversity; and Naturalness). This document provides a general overview of these techniques, and discusses key issues concerning the strengths, challenges and limitations in the availability of data and scientific understanding we face at this time.