Mapping Global Ocean Ecosystems – Feasibility Study
Original (non-English) name
This paper presents findings of a feasibility study for a Mapping Global Ocean Ecosystem (MGOE) program to produce a series of maps of global coastal and marine ecosystems (e.g. substrate, seagrass, mangrove, coral reef and biotic etc.). The maps will be based on existing spatial datasets and ecosystem classifications of ocean and marine areas.
The ongoing benefits of the Mapping Global Ocean Ecosystem program will facilitate international collaborations for ocean and coastal research, establish a common ocean ecosystem mapping vocabulary and encourage an internationally consistent approach for global ocean ecosystem mapping into the future. We anticipate that the output of this program will facilitate international-scale cross-disciplinary studies of ocean ecosystems. It is our intent that, by collating all the available marine and ocean ecosystem datasets into a single framework, a single classification system and a spatial coordinate, and promoting and extending the availability of these through public use rules, institutions will work collaboratively to address worldwide data gaps and solutions. It is encouraged for researchers worldwide to share their ocean and marine ecosystem data.
Two major tasks are included in this study: reviewing both the existing datasets and the classification frameworks and then summarize recommendations on the best datasets and suitable classification methods for mapping global ocean ecosystems.
We have also suggested a work plan and timeline for creating an initial map of global ocean ecosystems, including areas where data are not available.