The importance of marine and coastal ecosystems for critical ecosystem services such as coastal protection, waste processing, food security, and carbon sequestration, is becoming ever more apparent. However, our quantitative knowledge of these contributions is heavily limited by a lack of baseline data. Such data are typically unavailable as consolidated global datasets, and are instead geographically dispersed and unorganised.

To address these challenges, the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is convening a Global Data Partnership for Critical Marine and Coastal Ecosystems, a network of agencies, institutions and individuals working together to develop, collate, maintain and deliver high resolution, datasets (distributed, where necessary and/or appropriate) that are critical to a range of contemporary assessments, analyses and processes.

This Global Data Partnership is a contribution to the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO-BON), and in support of various multilateral environmental agreements, including the Convention on Biological Diversity. As such the process will be fully inclusive and transparent. If you have comments or feedback, or would like to contribute or participate, please contact Louisa Wood ([email protected]) by 15th June 2010. An initial teleconference will be planned for later in the year.

More information: Global Data Partnership for Marine Coastal Ecosystems