Marine Conservation Biology Institute Marine Conservation Biology Institute
Marine Conservation Biology Institute
Protecting Marine Ecosystems

Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative

Dumbo Octopus

The Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative is an international partnership 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 organizations, to use and develop data, tools, and methodologies to identify ecologically significant areas with an initial focus on the high seas and deep seabed beyond national jurisdiction.

This initiative began in late 2008 as a collaboration between the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), IUCN, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Marine Conservation Biology Institute, Census of Marine Life, Ocean Biogeographic Information System and the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab of Duke University. The initiative continues to seek additional collaborators to help bring the best science and data to bear on the identification of ecologically significant areas beyond national jurisdiction. GOBI is facilitated by IUCN with
core support from BfN.

The work under this initiative ultimately aims to help countries meet the goals adopted under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. These global goals relate to reducing the rate of biodiversity loss, applying ecosystem approaches, and establishing representative marine protected area networks by 2012.


• Establish and support international scientific collaboration to assist States and relevant regional and global organizations to identify ecologically significant areas using the best available scientific data, tools, and methods.

• Provide guidance on how the CBD’s scientific criteria can be interpreted and applied towards management, including representative networks of marine protected areas.

• Assist in developing regional analyses with relevant organizations and stakeholders.





Learn more about MCBI's work on the high seas:

Protecting the High Seas

Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative

Scientists’ Statement to the United Nations

IMCC Workshop

Check out our high seas gems booklet and explore the sites in google earth.

Deep Sea Conservation Coalition

Convention on Biological Diversity

High-Seas Bottom Trawling - A bibliography of peer-reviewed papers and books addressing habitat destruction.