Convention on Biological Diversity: Regional Workshop to facilitate the Description of EBSAs in the North-East Atlantic Ocean

The Regional Workshop to Facilitate the Description of Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs) in the North-East Atlantic Ocean and Training Session on EBSAs took place in Stockholm, 23-27 September 2019. The Workshop was hosted by the Government of Sweden and organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), following the request of CBD Conference of the Parties in 2010. The objective of the workshop was to facilitate the description of EBSAs in the North-East Atlantic through the application of scientific criteria.

Eskild Kirkegaard, from the Fisheries Expert Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Commission on Ecosystem Management (IUCN-CEM-FEG), coordinated by EBCD, participated in the Workshop contributing with his scientific expertise on the issue. The workshop Report, available here, was discussed during the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA), held in Montreal, Canada, 25-29 November 2019. 

At SBSTTA, during the session dedicated to the consideration of the Report on the EBSA Workshop, Finland led the debate, supporting the document and encouraging the CBD Task Force on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to take into account the scientific information available as knowledge base for the post-2020 biodiversity targets. Denmark, France, Iceland, Portugal and Sweden supported Finland’s intervention. The Report was adopted at SBSTTA with minor amendments.

The EBSA process continues in 2020, with an Expert Workshop to Identify Options for Modifying the Description of EBSAs and Describing New EBSAs, to be held in Brussels, Belgium, 3-5 February. The outcome of this workshop will form the basis of a meeting report containing a set of options and approaches for modifying the description of EBSAs and describing new EBSAs. Jake Rice, IUCN-CEM-FEG Vice-chair, who has been following the EBSA process from the beginning, will participate and inform the discussion.

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