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Map of the Week - Coralligenous Habitats

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Coralligenous Habitats

This week, delegates at the United Nations (UN) Biodiversity Conference  (COP15) in Montreal pursued their negotiations which started on 7 December 2022. In the first week, delegates approved about 20 decisions. Many subjects were covered including decisions relating to the facilitation of the full and effective participation of Indigenous Peoples and local communities in all of the work of the Convention on Biological Diversity .  In the second week, delegates discussed, amongst other topics, marine biodiversity and climate change and biodiversity. Negotiations focused on the Global Biodiversity Framework  that will provide a strategic vision and a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade. [1] As pointed out by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), adoption of a bold global biodiversity framework that addresses the key drivers of nature loss is needed to secure our own health and well-being alongside that of the planet. [2]

Many events have been taking place in the past days. For example, on 13 December, the United Nations recognized 10 pioneering initiatives  that are restoring the natural world. The initiatives were declared World Restoration Flagships and are eligible to receive UN-backed promotion, advice or funding. They were selected under the banner of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration , a global movement coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). On 16 September,  the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO  hosted a flagship ocean event  at COP15 titled ‘AN OCEAN OF LIFE: Knowledge and Solutions for Marine and Coastal Biodiversity under the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework’. During the High-Level Opening, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Ocean Peter Thomson stated that we need to meet the targets set under the ambitious biodiversity framework if we are to secure the planet for future generations. [3]  On the occasion of this event, a new publication  highlighting the role of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in achieving the ambitions of the post-2020 Framework has been published.

On the subject of biodiversity, this week’s Map of the Week focuses on coralligenous outcrops and mäerl beds which are the result of the building activities of algal and animal constructors, counterbalanced by physical, as well as biological, eroding processes. Because of their extent, biodiversity and production, coralligenous and mäerl habitats rank among the most important ecosystems in the Mediterranean Sea, and they are considered of great significance both for fisheries and natural carbon sequestration. Dive in the map to learn more!

Wish to know more about biodiversity?

  • Read about the diverse values and valuation of nature with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report  published last July;
  • Explore the Biodiversity Information System for Europe (BISE) and learn about habitat restoration;
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest Ocean Decade news .


The Map of the Week will be on a winter break in the coming two weeks. We will be back with new ocean and seas updates on 13 January 2023. We wish you happy and safe holidays!


Access the map


The data in the map are provided by EMODnet.

[1, see COP 15 Biodiversity Beat, 13 December