Federal Ministry for the Environment supporting the global protection of the oceans

Diver at coral riff

Global protection of the oceans by GOBI; Photo: Patrick Schwab

Despite their great importance, the oceans remain among the least protected areas in the world. In particular on the high seas only a few marine protected areas have been established. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) has made EUR 5.7 million in funding available to support the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) and to help protect ecologically and biologically significant marine areas around the world.

GOBI collaborates internationally with environmental organisations, universities, marine conservation authorities to identify particularly vulnerable marine areas and help facilitate their protection. It collects detailed scientific data on coastal and marine ecosystems, thereby providing key information for designating and managing ecologically significant marine areas, including on the high seas. 

GOBI has already helped in identifying over 200 ecologically and biologically significant marine areas, enabling them to be recognised by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In the next step, specific conservation and management plans will be drawn up for these areas. This will require agreement on cross-border rules on use and nature conservation. The project, which is financed by BMUB’s International Climate Initiative (IKI), is conducting activities, among others, in marine areas off the coast of Costa Rica, Honduras, the Seychelles and Sri Lanka.

By supporting GOBI, the Federal Government is fulfilling its commitment under the CBD, in which Germany and other signatory countries pledged to conserve and protect the Earth’s biological diversity. The Strategic Plan 2011-2020 established 20 Aichi Targets (named after the city where the Conference took place in Japan). The new project focuses on helping to reach Aichi Target 11, which includes the establishment of protected areas covering at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas by 2020.
Seascape Consultants Ltd, which functions as the Secretariat of GOBI, is implementing the project. The funding from BMUB’s International Climate Initiative is enabling GOBI to continue its important work on global marine protection.