Deep CCZ biodiversity synthesis workshop

ANNOUNCEMENT | 25 April 2019

Deep CCZ biodiversity synthesis workshop; 1-4 October 2019, Friday Harbor, Washington, USA

  1. Call for submission of nominations of experts to participate in the workshop (Action required by 15 June 2019); and
  2. Call for submission of relevant scientific information that can contribute to the workshop objectives (Action required by 31 June 2019)

The International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the Deep Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) Project (University of Hawaii) will convene an expert workshop on Deep CCZ Biodiversity Synthesis in Friday Harbor, Washington, USA, from 1 to 4 October 2019, with financial support from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts and the University of Hawaii.

The workshop aims to review and analyze recent seafloor ecosystem data from the CCZ to synthesize patterns of biodiversity, community structure, species ranges, genetic connectivity, ecosystem function, and habitat heterogeneity along and across the CCZ, and to assess the representativity of the Areas of Particular Environmental Interest (APEIs) relative to exploration contract areas.

I. Submission of nomination of experts to participate in the workshop

Members of ISA, in particular sponsoring States, as well as contractors and relevant international and regional organizations, projects/programs and initiatives, and relevant academic institutions/scientific groups, are invited to nominate experts to participate in this workshop. A description of the workshop background, objectives and expected outputs is attached here for ease of reference and is available on the ISA website: www.isa.org.jm/workshop/deep-ccz-biodiversity-synthesis-workshop

Nomination of experts should be prepared recognizing the scientific and technical nature of the workshop in which participants will be expected to provide and analyze scientific data and information related to the workshop objectives through team work with other workshop participants, including the Deep CCZ project research team. In light of this, participants should be scientists or individuals able to understand and interpret scientific data, and/or should have access to relevant ecological and biological data on marine ecosystems, habitats and species, and/or physical/ oceanographic /geological data of the CCZ area.

 The maximum number of participants will be limited to 40 to enable the workshop participants to effectively undertake specific tasks of the scientific analysis and synthesis process in small groups.

The selection of experts by the Secretariat of ISA, in collaboration with the Deep CCZ Project, will be based on scientific and technical expertise and experience, taking into account balanced geographic representation and gender balance. Consideration will also be given to the fact that this workshop is being organized by ISA in partnership with the University of Hawaii, as part of the Deep CCZ Project, of which lead scientists and research teams will collectively contribute to the undertaking of the workshop. 

The selection of experts will be made on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Good scientific knowledge and research experience, with peer-reviewed publications, in deep-sea biodiversity, biogeography and/or ecology of the CCZ;
  2. Experts with access to unpublished, high quality biodiversity and/or environmental data from seafloor ecosystems in the CCZ;
  3. Good experience and expertise in the scientific design of area-based management tools, including areas of particular environmental interests; and
  4. Good experience in environmental management of seabed activities.

Nominations should include the name and full contact details of nominee/s and should be submitted via an official letter addressed to the Director of Office of Environmental Management and Mineral Resources of ISA, and signed by the relevant authorities, contractors, organizations/institutions, and programmes/initiatives/scientific groups. All nominations must be accompanied by a curriculum vitae clearly indicating the areas of expertise and experience of the nominee, relating to the above-noted selection criteria. Nominations should be sent as soon as possible, but no later than 15 June 2019, via e-mail to oemmr-secretariat@isa.org.jm .

 Limited funding will be available by the Deep CCZ Project to finance the participation of the selected experts eligible for funding, in particular experts from developing States. The results of selection of the experts will be available on the ISA website in due course, not later than 15 August 2019.

Submission of information to support the objectives of the workshop

 Members of ISA, in particular sponsoring States, as well as contractors and relevant international and regional organizations, projects/programs and initiatives, and relevant academic institutions/scientific groups, are also invited to provide relevant information in support of the objectives of the workshop.

In terms of data/information, particular needs have been identified in relation to:

  • biodiversity (e.g. species/taxon richness and evenness);
  • community structure (e.g. abundance/diversity of different components of the biota, species/Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) structure);
  • biogeography (e.g. species range, degree of species overlap, community similarity);
  • genetic connectivity (e.g. shared haplotypes, latitudinal and longitudinal scales of genetic connectivity);
  • ecosystem functions and drivers (e.g. C-cycling, bioturbation, nutrient fluxes); and
  • habitat modeling (e.g. habitat diversity). 

Submission can be made in the form of peer-reviewed articles, reports/documents, datasets, maps or any other appropriate forms.

In order to allow the Secretariat to prepare necessary scientific and technical input for the abovementioned workshop in a timely manner, information should be submitted to the ISA Secretariat as soon as possible, but no later than 31 July 2019, via an email addressed to oemmr-secretariat@isa.org.jm. For those who can provide datasets, the Secretariat will arrange a necessary modality of data transfer, upon receiving the indication of data provision via email.

For enquiries, please contact: 
Luciana Genio, Environmental Analyst, Office of Environmental Management and Mineral Resources, International Seabed Authority (lgenio@isa.org.jm)