Complementary to Ocean+ Data, the various issues surrounding data limitations are detailed here
Complementary to Ocean+ Data, detailed metadata sheets developed by UNEP-WCMC are accessible here
Home to more than half of all life on Earth, the ocean covers over 70% of the surface of the planet. It contains some of the most productive ecosystems, vast natural resources and unique habitats on Earth. The ocean also plays a vital role in regulating the planet’s climate. However, the marine environment is facing many pressures, from the impacts of climate change and overfishing to the effects of pollution from microplastics and marine litter.
Accurate and up-to-date data and information are required to support adaptive conservation and resource management that can help to mitigate these impacts, and to conserve marine species and habitats. Ocean+ Data addresses this need for information by providing an overview of global marine and coastal datasets of biodiversity importance, including some datasets of regional interest.
Ocean+ Data has been created under the Ocean+ initiative, funded by the Proteus Partnership in collaboration with UNEP-WCMC. The Ocean+ initiative supports the delivery of ocean-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by improving the accessibility and usability of biodiversity and ecosystems data, developing decision support tools and providing evidence-based advice.
Ocean+ Data is an online library that identifies 183 ocean-related resources available globally. First established as the Manual of marine and coastal datasets of biodiversity importance, Ocean+ Data lists data come from various internationally respected scientific institutions and other organisations, with the hope that these data will support and encourage informed decision-making that sustains global biodiversity and ecosystem services. The site additionally allows users to filter by category, organisation and theme (e.g. marine spatial planning, environmental impact assessment, education, etc.), and directs users to these sources.
The starting point for this work was an identified need to better document and explain the various marine and coastal datasets that exist globally, including those curated and/or distributed by UNEP-WCMC. Standardised ‘metadata’ were created to describe these datasets, including why they were created, how they can be used, and how they can be accessed.
The development, improvement and dissemination of global data and information on biodiversity benefits not only governments, but also businesses, researchers, conservation organisations and educators. It is hoped that Ocean+ Data will improve understanding of the different coastal and marine datasets that have been produced by various organisations around the world. Ocean+ Data will facilitate long-term access to information on marine and coastal biodiversity that can support the transition to a healthy ocean. The site can be used to identify resources to support:
·Assessments and monitoring of ecosystems and biodiversity within marine habitats (e.g., vulnerability, diversity, health and threat analyses);
·Site assessments and risk prevention;
·Identification of ecosystem services and marine natural capital;
·Development of marine spatial plans or siting of marine protected areas;
·Analyses of national and international conventions and agreements;
·Educational purposes and ocean literacy uptake (e.g., training, workshops, conferences, teaching, media or campaigns); and
·Mainstreaming biodiversity into national decision-making.
Ocean+ Data will be updated bi-annually, with suggestions and contributions welcome at any time. If you have any suggestions on how Ocean+ Data could be improved, or information regarding additional marine and coastal data resources, please contact Lauren Weatherdon (Lauren.Weatherdon@unep-wcmc.org) and Juliette Martin (Juliette.Martin@unep-wcmc.org).
The members of the Ocean+ team at UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre are all marine specialists. Juliette Martin is a marine ecologist with expertise in marine mammal science and experience in the mapping and analysis of vulnerable marine habitats, such as coral reefs. Lauren Weatherdon specialises in spatial ecology and climate change impacts and adaptation, with a particular focus on enhancing access to marine and coastal data to support decision-making. Osgur McDermott Long has expertise modelling biological responses to climate change and associated climatic extremes and experience in the maintenance and management of large biologically associated datasets.
The Proteus Partnership and UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre provide funding for the development and maintenance of Ocean+ Data.