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European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet)

Map of the Week – Biodiversity

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Have you seen the five new thematic predefined maps in the European Atlas of the Seas? They cover the following topics: Marine Data, Biodiversity, Food from the Ocean, Clean Energy and Climate Change. Predefined maps can be found in the search window that opens when you click on the magnifying glass. For each one, details about the topic of the map is available under “More info”. The five new maps are closely related to important pillars of the the European Green Deal. For the Map of the Week this week, we focus on biodiversity. This predefined map includes three map layers highlighting biodiversity and biodiversity conservation across Europe: Marine Natura 2000 sites, Marine protected areas and Coralligenous Habitats.

As part of the European Green Deal, the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 aims to put Europe’s biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030. Biodiversity is crucial for the health and sustainability of our planet because it underpins essential functioning of ecosystems, including filtering of air and water, climate regulation, converting waste into resources, pollination, fertilising crops, and more [1]. A healthy nature supports human well-being by offering food, energy, medicines, as well as cultural benefits. Ecosystem also contributes to climate resilience [1]. Preserving biodiversity is not only an ethical imperative but also a critical necessity to sustain life on Earth and address global challenges such as climate change, disease outbreaks, and food security.

Do you know that an important high seas treaty will open for signature  on 20 September at the United Nations Headquarters in New York? After nearly two decades of talks, on 19 June 2023, governments adopted an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). The adoption of the BBNJ treaty is an important milestone in marine policy, and is critical for ensuring a healthy marine ecosystem to support a more resilient ocean and sustainable planet. The Agreement will remain open for signature until 20 September 2025.

Wish to learn more?

  • Find out about the SDG Action Weekend  taking place this weekend on 16-17 September. A side event ‘BBNJ Treaty - The Race for Ratification’ will be broadcasted  on UN WebTV on 16 September!
  • Check out the European nature protection toolkit for educators to help your students understand the importance of nature.
  • After exploring the predefined maps in the Atlas, create your own map on the theme of your choice! Watch the My Maps video tutorial to learn how to create your working space in the Atlas, save your selection of map layers and add a title and notes to your map!
  • If you have missed it, catch up on last week’s Map of the Week on marine litter and participate in World Cleanup Day (WCD ) on 16 September!


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The data in this map are provided by EMODnet and Eurostat.