Fighting for Biodiversity Hotspots

Written by on October 17, 2012 in Marine Life
Marine Protected Areas help maintain biodiversity. Photo credit: NOAA/USFWS.

Marine Protected Areas help maintain biodiversity. Photo credit: NOAA/USFWS.

With new knowledge about the distribution, migration, and reproduction of many endangered species, scientists have been able to locate some of the ocean’s most ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSA) in the ocean.

At the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) is calling on the international community to protect these areas.  Currently, 120 biological “hotspots” are waiting to be approved at the CBD.

“We are calling the Convention to approve the proposed EBSAs and urge the international community to protect them – for the sake of our oceans and the services they provide to people around the world,” says Patricio Bernal, IUCN Coordinator of Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative.  “If we fail to do this, we risk losing rich marine life before we even have the time to explore it.”

EBSA assessment involves the following aspects:

  • housing endangered or threatened species
  • the biological diversity
  • the number of rare species
  • importance to the survival of threatened species
  • vulnerability to climate change
  • vulnerability to human interference

“Many of these important areas lie outside of national jurisdiction, and thus remain neglected or poorly protected,” explained Kristina Gjerde, IUCN Senior High Seas Advisor.  “We need to bring these remote places to the center of government attention.”

The 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is currently taking place in Hyderabad, India.

The Coral Triangle region is known for its biodiversity, as seen in this small section of House Reef in the Philippines. Photo credit: Dave Burdick, NOAA.

The Coral Triangle region is known for its biodiversity, as seen in this small section of House Reef in the Philippines. Photo credit: Dave Burdick, NOAA.

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Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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