Program Update: Census of Marine Life – October 2010
The Census of Marine Life sponsored a side event on Friday, October 22 at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity Conference (CBD) of the Parties 10 (COP10) in Nagoya, Japan. The event summarized the research results of the 2000-2010 Census of Marine Life, and discussed its relationship and potential importance to the CBD. Yoshihisa Shirayama, a member of the Scientific Steering Committee, convened the event and participants gave presentations on the overall findings of the Census, the applications of the Census for the CBD and the utility of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Discussion after the presentations was lively, and included questions on how to fund future work, remaining gaps in data under the Census, and how the Census can be used to inform on human impacts on marine biodiversity. Please see http://www.iisd.ca/biodiv/cop10/enbots/22octe.html for the full report and http://webcast.cop10.go.jp/player.asp?id=2302&type=ondeman for the video. In addition to the side event, the Census project Natural Geography In Shore Areas (NaGISA) hosted an international meeting in parallel to the COP10 to bring together near-shore benthic ecologists and taxonomists from western pacific regions. The theme of the conference was Conservation of Marine Biodiversity and was highlighted by keynote speeches by several Census scientists.
The Census of Marine Life released the results of ten years of research at the Decade of Discovery events in London, UK 4-6 October 2010. The events were kicked off with a news conference presenting the findings to the global press. The story received great coverage and has been included in over 1,700 publications including the cover of the Wall Street journal, the Daily Telegraph, The New York Times, Popular Science, and many other publications. The events followed with the J. Frederick Grassle Science Symposium, which gave an opportunity for Census scientists to present findings from the individual projects of the Census. The symposium also included a very unique presentation of art inspired by the Census, including paintings, sculpture, film, and even cartoons! Finally, the community celebrated a decade of hard work at a celebration at the Natural History Museum in London. For more information on the final release of the Census of Marine life and the Decade of Discovery events, visit www.coml.org.
The Census of Marine Life and the French Embassy in Washington, DC coordinated an event titled “Océans and the Census of Marine Life: A Symposium on Ocean Exploration, Governance, and Ten Years of Discovery.” This event was inspired by the International Year of Biodiversity highlighted the quality of Franco-American collaborations while marking the first time that the Census results and achievements were reported in London were presented in the U.S. After the symposium, guests made their way to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History for the first North American screening of the international version of the Océans film. In all, almost 400 people participated in the days events.