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.
To learn more:
- Read this post from the IUCN: Into the deep unknown – scientists unveil the secrets of our seas
- Check out this blog post from Kristina Gjerde: Ocean views from Hyderabad
Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.