Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI)

GOBI was an international partnership of organisations committed to advancing the scientific basis for conserving biological diversity in the marine environment. GOBI partners, coordinated by a dedicated Secretariat, developed methods, generated new data, and delivered actionable knowledge to address present-day concerns of the biodiversity management and conservation community. GOBI also supported countries in meeting their national conservation obligations, devising sustainable marine management measures via cooperation between GOBI partners, CBD signatory states and intergovernmental organisations. These activities helped society and its leaders appreciate the value of marine biodiversity and contribute towards transformational policy advice and capacity building.

Project data

IKI funding
6,465,546.00 €
05/2016 till 10/2023
Implementing organisation
Seascape Consultants Ltd - United Kingdom
Political Partner
  • Government of the Republic of the Seychelles
  • Governments of Central America (Honduras & Guatemala)
  • International Seabed Authority (ISA) - Jamaica
  • Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning - ONEP - Thailand
  • Secretariat of Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) - Abu Dhabi
  • Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) - Canada
Implementing Partner
  • BirdLife International - Global Office - United Kingdom
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) - Tasmania/Australia
  • Duke University - United States
  • Instituto Tethys ONLUS - Italy
  • MarViva Foundation - Costa Rica

State of implementation/results

  • The GOBI partnership is fully engaged with the Convention on Biological Diversity’s process for describing Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas (EBSAs). This international cooperative process has so far described over 330 EBSAs. GOBI’s collective expertise is now informing possible ways in which the existing EBSAs can be strengthened, and highlighting new areas that may merit future description as EBSAs.
  • GOBI’s outputs, including the Migratory Connectivity in the Ocean (MiCO) system, many Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs), and updates to the Seabird Tracking Database, continue to inform discussions by parties to the Convention on Migratory Species and Wild Animals. ( (
  • MiCO continues to be updated with information as it is compiled from the scientific literature and submitted datasets. The IMMA process continues to expand its coverage, now including the SE tropical and temperate Pacific Ocean, SW Atlantic Ocean, NE Atlantic Ocean (see IMMA eAtlas), and soon to include the NW Atlantic Region. Seabird tracking data have been fundamental in OSPAR’s recognition and designation of the NACES Marine Protected Area in the northern Atlantic Ocean in October 2021, as well as other marine protected areas around the world (…)
  • GOBI’s work on developing conservation strategies for hydrothermal vents on mid-ocean ridges is feeding into the International Seabed Authority’s work on developing a regional environmental management plan for the Atlantic Ocean and beyond.
  • GOBI successfully brought together regional governments to recognise the natural value of the Costa Rica Thermal Dome (CRTD), with the proposed Regional Thermal Dome Work Plan being formally presented to the regional authorities for consideration. Lessons learned from this work are now integral to the SARGADOM Project, focusing on the CRTD and the Sargasso Sea (funded by the French Facility for Global Environment).
  • Bioregionalisations for the SW Pacific and Indian oceans are complete, with descriptions of 72 benthic and 14 pelagic bioregions in the Indian Ocean and 35 benthic and 16 pelagic regions in the SW Pacific. Results are being used to feed into marine spatial planning programmes in Mauritius, Tanzania and Kenya. Further bioregionalisation work for the NW Indian Ocean is underway.
  • Results from GOBI’s work continue to be published in a range of scientific journals and disseminated as appropriate at relevant scientific and policy fora. A full list of publications produced through GOBI’s IKI grant is available on the here (…)
  • GOBI is an endorsed UN Ocean Decade Action.

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