Census of Marine Life Summary for Policy Makers

Scientific Results to Support the Sustainable Use and Conservation CoMLHighlights2010Coverof Marine Life is designed to help policymakers determine how results of the first Census of Marine Life might be used to craft science-based policy. The report complements the 2010 Highlights Report [1] and summarizes the discoveries, tools and technologies from the decade-long Census of Marine Life that are most relevant to policy makers, resource managers, and government officials. Included are examples and data that can help inform decisions about ecosystem and species level protection, discusses findings about marine habitat degradation and rehabilitation and introduces Census-developed tools to identify biodiversity hotspots and large-scale ecological patterns and analyze distributions of species over time and space. The report is available in seven languages.

Chinese (3.5MB [2])
English (3.0MB [3])
French (3.1MB [4])
Indonesian (1.1MB [5])
Japanese (2.7MB [6])
Portuguese (3.0MB [7])
Spanish (3.1MB [8])

Copyright 2009 Census of Marine Life

IOC Coordinated Tsunami Warning System Plays Key Role in Japanese Emergency

The Pacific Tsunami Warning System, which has been coordinated by the IOC of UNESCO with cooperation from other UN agencies and dozens of nations, was called into action by the high-magnitude earthquake and subsequent destructive tsunami which occurred 11 March, 2011 05:46 (GMT). Within three minutes of the earthquake, the Japanese Meteorological Agency issued a Major Tsunami Warning. Six minutes later warnings or watches were issued for islands from the South Pacific to Hawaii, as well as Japan and Russia.

JMAInitialTsunamiObservation200 The Japanese Meteorological Agency monitors sea level gauges continuously in real time and reported these observed tsunami measurments. (c) JMA

Tsunami Warning System sea level gauges immediately reported the arrival and amplitude of tsunami waves along the Japanese Coast (http://www.jma.go.jp/en/tsunami/observation_04_20110311181349.html) In the subsequent 24 hours, the Tsunami waves were tracked across the ocean, and warnings were issued for North and South America.

The IOC Tsunami Warning Centers (http://ioc-tsunami.org) work in close cooperation with national agencies. The IOC is primarily concerned with international coordination among nations, while the operational duties of the centers reside with national agencies. For instance in the Pacific, the Japanese Meteorological Agency, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, and the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre have operational responsibility for issuing international advisories to country national authorities. The JMA has been an integral part of the Pacific Tsunami Warning System, which was established under the leadership of IOC in 1965. Since the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, the UN has designated the IOC to lead in the coordination of regional Tsunami Warning and Mitigation Systems in the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, and the North-eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.

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Blue Carbon International Scientific Working Group

photolib_mangroves-in-bali1thumbnailMangrove forests sequester much more carbon in the mud and sediment surrounding their roots than in the canopy. (c) J Tamelander / IUCN

The "Blue Carbon" International Scientific Working Group met last week at UNESCO headquarters to discuss the implications of using coastal "blue" carbon as a conservation and management tool contributing to climate change mitigation and the development of associated conservation financing mechanisms.

Marine ecosystems – particularly coastal vegetated ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses, and salt marshes – have demonstrated capacity for sequestering carbon in both the plant biomass above ground and in the subsurface sediment layer. For that reason, those vegetated areas are now widely acknowledged as important natural sinks for greenhouse gases (GHGs). Destruction and degradation of these ecosystems could convert these long‐term carbon sinks into major GHG sources, as the carbon sequestrated over thousands of years in thick sediment layers could be released back to the environment in a short period of time. The magnitude of the emissions associated with coastal degradation is only now becoming apparent.

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Rio +20: The Countdown Begins


The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Earth Summit, established the need for a Global Ocean Observing System and called upon the IOC to implement the GOOS. The Earth Summit, the major United Nations Conference on global environment to date, took place in Rio de Janeiro from 3 June to 14 June 1992. Government officials from 178 countries and between 20,000 and 30,000 individuals from governments, non-governmental organizations, and the media participated.

The Conference's search for solutions of global problems such as poverty, war, and the growing gap between industrialized and developing countries, was to set the stage for twenty years of environmental diplomacy. The Conference's impact was to rethink economic development in a way that would benefit the Earth and its inhabitants for generations to come.

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New Ocean Fertilization Publication

Ocean_FertilizationSPMcoverOcean Fertilization A Scientific Summary for Policy Makers

A new Scientific Summary for Policymakers on Ocean Fertilization is now available through online and in print. The Summary considers the practicalities, opportunities and threats associated with large-scale ocean fertilization.

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