There are an expanding number of marine initiatives that are aligning data in order to more effectively inform policy and decision-making. BirdLife has been engaging successfully in a number of these and ensuring that seabird data are an integral part of future guidance for marine conservation.
One reason for slow progress in protecting and managing the marine environment more effectively has been the logistical and financial difficulty of collecting adequate data on which to base prioritisation exercises. While growing amounts of data exist, they often reside in different, often inaccessible, locations (e.g. universities, research institutes or government departments). To address this, a number of recent global initiatives are establishing data repositories and sharing experiences to make data more freely available for marine conservation and capacity building purposes. BirdLife is currently involved in several such initiatives, these include:
1. The Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI)—an international partnership aimed at advancing the scientific basis for conserving biological diversity in the deep seas and open oceans. It aims to help countries, as well as regional and global organisations, to use and develop data, tools, and methodologies to identify ecologically significant areas in the oceans, with an initial focus on areas beyond national jurisdiction.
2. World Seabird Union (WSU)—established after the 1st World Seabird Conference in 2010, it includes 21 seabird groups from around the world and aims to place seabird research, management and conservation into a worldwide perspective. Included within its aims are the establishment of interoperable global datasets on colonies, tracking data and at-sea surveys.
3. The High Seas Alliance (HSA)—a partnership of organizations and groups aimed at building a strong common voice and constituency for the conservation of the high seas. The HSA is currently made up of 23 NGOs plus the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The objective of the HSA is to facilitate international cooperation to establish high seas protected areas and to strengthen high seas governance. Members of the HSA share and facilitate access to information in order to promote transparency and encourage an informed public discourse related to the mission and goals of the Alliance.
4. Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI)—established by the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan in October 2010 to act as a long-term capacity building partnership to facilitate the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets on marine and coastal biodiversity, in particular Targets 6, 10 and 11, and effective implementation of the programme of work on marine and coastal biodiversity under the Convention.
BirdLife International (2012) Efforts are increasing to share marine data more effectively for conservation. Presented as part of the BirdLife State of the world's birds website. Available from: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/495. Checked: 30/08/2014
|Key message: Bird data will be key for a global biodiversity monitoring system|