Community Forum:
Ocean Ecosystems

16:00-17:30, Day 3 Wednesday 23 September 2009
Room: Feste

Contact: Ron O'Dor

A forum for the Biodiversity community and others who are interested will be hosted by Census of Marine Life (CoML) on Wednesday afternoon to seek input from the ocean observing community on what is needed and possible in the field of biological ocean observing in the next decade. The forum will build on Tuesday’s plenary presentation by Ron O’Dor and will start with a focus on the biological opportunities available to the community as a result of a decade of demonstration projects under the CoML banner.  We will begin with a few introductory words from a panel of scientists with foci from microbes to whales, illustrating feasible biodiversity monitoring approaches for the next decade.  Then the floor will be open to questions and discussion of these and other ideas. The input generated during this forum will be compiled and fed into the Conference Statement and the Conference Report.

CoML’s fourteen field projects have provided nearly 20 million species-location references globally from the abyssal plains to the surface.  Some of the breakthrough technologies that make biodiversity monitoring possible now include DNA barcoding and microchips combined with standardized sampling techniques, upward looking and horizontal waveguide sonar techniques that view huge areas, use of animal borne sensors to define the oceanic habitats, and a combination of acoustic and satellite tracking techniques that allow us to reassemble species interactions in the open ocean to meet increasing demands for ecosystem based management of ocean resources.  CoML’s Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), which contains these records, has recently been accepted by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission as a component of IODE, simplifying the process of linking biodiversity data with physical data on a global scale.  OBIS contains records going back a thousand years from the Oceans Past project and has been used to project scenarios forward in the Oceans Future project, so the feasibility of linking the physical ocean to the biological ocean is greatly enhanced.  We need to decide how best to begin to implement these cross-over technologies. 

We encourage you to attend Tuesday evening’s preview of the Jacques Perrin film Oceans. The film is a CoML collaboration, and may help to inform our discussions during this forum.

 Contact: info .at. oceanobs09.net © 2009 IOC/UNESCO