Exploitation of our seas and oceans is increasing rapidly as resources on land become depleted or more expensive to obtain. Simultaneously, there is an increasing amount of legislation governing use and exploitation of the oceans and seas, both at the national and international levels. Seascape Consultants occupies a unique position at the frontier between science and policy. Our consultants have a sound scientific knowledge but also understand the industry and governance perspectives.
Seascape Consultants currently provide the Secretariat and overall leadership of the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI), funded by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN). Prof. David Johnson is the Programme Coordinator and Prof. Phil Weaver provides scientific coordination for the initiative. GOBI is an international partnership advancing the scientific basis for conserving biological diversity in the deep seas and open oceans. GOBI works with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and governments worldwide to identify critical areas where biodiversity is threatened and to bring these areas forward as Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas (EBSAs), as defined by the CBD Conference of Parties (CBD COP 9 Decision IX/20 Annex I). Our ambition is that this will lead to better planning for maritime space and ultimately to sustainable exploitation.
Prof. Phil Weaver has coordinated two major European research projects examining marine ecosystems and related deep-sea environments. HERMES (Hoptspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas) and HERMIONE (Hoptspot Ecosystem Research and Man’s Impact on European seas). Within these projects research was carried out on the complexity of marine ecosystems and the stresses that they are being put under by human activities. Phil has presented the results of these projects at meetings of the United Nations in New York and at the European Parliament in Brussels as well as in many meetings with policy makers across Europe. Phil is currently the coordinator of a FP7-funded project, MIDAS (Managing Impacts of Deep Sea Resource Exploitation), which is investigating the potential environmental and ecological impacts of deep-sea resource extraction.
David edited the ESF Marine Board’s Position paper on Achieving Ecologically Coherent MPA Networks in Europe (2012). He has led an assessment of ecological coherence of the OSPAR Commission’s MPA network (2013) and coordinated capacity building training for the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (Convention on Biological Diversity) in West Africa (2013). In 2014 and 2015 David worked directly for UNEP on Regional Seas Partnership projects concerned with indicators and marine protected areas.
Examples of industry/international projects:
- Coordinator and Secretariat for the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI)
- Coordinator of the EC-funded MIDAS project with 32 partners from 11 countries
- Coordination of the EC-funded HERMIONE project with 36 partners from 15 countries (Phil Weaver and Vikki Gunn, via NOC)
- Coordination of the EC-funded HERMES project with 50 partners from 17 countries (Phil Weaver and Vikki Gunn, via NOC)