Ocean Data Viewer

Ocean Data Viewer © UNEP-WCMC

UNEP-WCMC has been working closely with partners including the CBD Secretariat to implement COP Decision IX/20, to develop an online interactive map and associated tools to support decision making for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in the open ocean and deep seas. Building upon this decision, and incorporating related needs in the Island Biodiversity and Protected Areas Programme of Work, UNEP-WCMC has initiated a collaborative Global Marine Data Partnership, whose aim is to:


  • convene a network of partners engaged in marine and coastal biodiversity-related monitoring to build collaboration on data collection and standardisation;
  • enhance the quality, integration and interoperability of data sets ;
  • increase availability and access to this data through online data repository/ies, including an Ocean Data Viewer developed by UNEP-WCMC.


These activities directly respond to SBSTTA recommendation XIV/3, which will be considered by COP10, through, inter alia, enabling improved assessment activities, supporting the identification of ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs), and promoting better understanding of specific and cumulative human impacts, including those of invasive alien species

The purpose of the Ocean Data Viewer is to provide an overview and access to a range of data, and relevant conventions, which are available to help inform decisions that are important for the conservation of marine and coastal biodiversity. While this does not replace the need for national governments to continue reporting processes per their international commitments, it offers an opportunity to supplement existing knowledge bases, particularly with respect to globally significant data layers. The main users for this tool include government agencies, scientists, researchers, private industry, NGOs, and other bodies interested in accessing marine and coastal datasets which can be combined with other data layers for meaningful analyses that increase our understanding and effectiveness of ocean conservation and sustainable use.

Brief introductions of key marine-relevant international conventions and initiatives, such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Ramsar Convention, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, are included to guide the user to some of the most applicable globally-accessible marine datasets. Links to websites and even specific decisions or declarations are also included to assist the user with a greater understanding of the context of these international agreements.

The Ocean Data Viewer also aims to demonstrate the importance of data sharing, accessibility and updating so that only the best available datasets are used for making decisions that ultimately affect the ocean, its health, productivity, and ecosystem services that we all rely on for our well-being, livelihoods and survival. Contributions of additional datasets or resources are encouraged using the contact details provided.

Ocean Data Viewer