Resolution of the UN General Assembly A/RES/63/111, that inter alia reiterates “… its serious concern over the current and projected adverse effects of climate change on the marine environment and marine biodiversity, and emphasizing the urgency of addressing this issue”, and “encourages States, individually or in collaboration with relevant international organizations and bodies, to enhance their scientific activity to better understand the effects of climate change on the marine environment and marine biodiversity and develop ways and means of adaptation”,
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange
Ocean Biogeographic Information System
What is IOC?
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
of UNESCO is the United Nations body for
ocean data and information exchange
and ocean services such as Tsunami warning systems.
Its mission is…
to promote international cooperation and to coordinate programmes in research,
services and capacity building to learn more about the nature and resources of
the oceans and coastal areas
to apply this knowledge to improved management, sustainable development and
protection of the marine environment and the decision making processes of
• "International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange”
• A program of the "Intergovernmental Oceanographic
Commission" (IOC) of UNESCO
• Established in 1961.
• Purpose is to enhance marine research, exploitation and
development, by facilitating the exchange of oceanographic data
and information between participating Member States, and by
meeting the needs of users for data and information products.
• For more see http://www.iode.org
OBIS is the world’s largest open access, online
repository of spatially referenced marine life data that:
– Nations can use to develop national and regional assessments, to
discover trends, gaps and biodiversity hotspots and to meet their
obligations to the Convention on Biological Diversity and other
– Stimulates research about our oceans to generate new hypotheses
concerning evolutionary processes, species distributions, and roles
of organisms in marine systems on a global scale.
– Forms a baseline of marine life’s diversity, distribution, and
abundance against which future change can be measured.
Originated from the Census of Marine Life(2000-2010)
US$ 650 million
2,600+ scientific publications
6,000+ potential new species
37,018,672 distribution records and counting
121,202 valid marine species 164,766 valid marine taxa
See http://www.iobis.org for data, maps, and more information
Dots are projects
OBIS is a
GBIF, EOL, GOBI,
GOOS, FAO, UNEPWCMC, ICES,
SCOR, CBOL, …
To make marine bio-geographic data from all
over the world freely available to policy makers,
environmental managers, researchers and the
public at large, in order to increase our
knowledge to better manage and protect our
OBIS at IOC-UNESCO
In June 2009, the 25th Session of the IOC Assembly decided through Resolution XXV-4 to
adopt OBIS as part of IODE, because:
Knowledge of the oceans biodiversity is of such importance to national and global
environmental issues that the responsibility for its continuing success should be assumed by
IOC Member States have repeatedly identified the need to acquire ocean biogeographic
data for national ocean and coastal resource management.
Without accurate, repeatable and timely biological data it is impossible to address
adequately the global ocean environmental issues of pollution, climate impact and
mitigation, ocean acidification, ecosystem management, biodiversity loss, and habitat
destruction (Resolution of the UN General Assembly A/RES/63/111)
OBIS provided the opportunity to adopt an existing global network for biogeographic data
and to attract the associated research community that can and should be a continuous part
of the Commission’s ocean mandate.
Existing OBIS Nodes
(black=regional, bold = NODC status, blue = thematic, green = candidate node)
Antarctica / AntOBIS
Arctic / ArcOD/AOOS
Argentina / ArOBIS
15. South-West Pacific / NZOBIS 20. Global / Hexacorals
Australia / OBIS-Australia
16. Sub-Saharan / AfrOBIS
Black Sea / BlackSea-OBIS 17. USA/ OBIS-USA
Canada / OBIS-Canada
China / OBIS-China
23. Gulf of Aden
Europe / EurOBIS
24. South-East Asia
India / IndOBIS
10. Japan / OBIS-Japan
11. Korea / KOBIS
12. Mediterranean / MedOBIS
13. South-East Pacific / ESPOBIS
14. South-West Atlantic /
18. Global / MicrOBIS
19. Global / OBIS-SEAMAP
21. Global / FishBase
22. Global / Seamounts
OBIS Data Network (Nodes)
OBIS’s data network will become organised in a hierarchical structure
Tier 1 = International OBIS at IODE
Tier 2 = Regional and Thematic Nodes (NODC’s and ADU’s)
Tier 3 = Local Nodes (NODC’s and ADU’s)
The OBIS Network needs additional nodes to help improve coverage
both geographically and thematically.
Every institution, project, initiative can apply to become a node of OBIS
(TIER II or III) and an ADU recognised by IODE.
Terms of Reference: IODE Associate Data Units
IODE Associate Data Units (ADUs) shall:
Be national projects, programmes, institutions or organizations (other than NODCs), or regional or
international projects, programmes, institutions or organizations that carry out data management
ii. Receive information on, and contribute to, IODE standards and best practices related to ocean
iii. Be welcomed to participate in ocean data and information management training, organized within
the framework of the IODE OceanTeacher programme,
iv. Be invited, as observers, in Sessions of the IODE Committee,
v. Participate in IODE workshops and projects,
vi. Share expertise with other ADUs and NODCs,
vii. Be invited to share their data and information on their data collection (metadata catalogue), and
this should be through their NODC (in the case of national projects, programmes, institutions or
organizations), or through another IODE data facility (in the case of regional or international
projects, programmes, institutions or organizations) or, in the case of biogeographic data,
viii. Receive assistance, upon request, from IODE, on matters related to ocean data management,
ix. Closely link with their IODE National Oceanographic Data Centre (NODC), if existing (in the case
of national projects, organizations and institutions),
x. Agree to make available data management documentation (standards, practices, guides,…) used
by the ADU.
Node Roles and Responsibilities?
Build customized portals (e.g., multiple languages)
Comply with the IOC/OBIS data policy for using and sharing OBIS data.
Customer support (data queries, analyses, feedback).
Harvesting data (and metadata) from tier III nodes
Making data (and metadata) available to tier I node using agreed upon standards and formats which are described in the OBIS Manual
Making data (and metadata) available to tier II nodes
Outreach (as defined in the Communication and Outreach Strategy)
Perform data validation (using standards, tools and best practices), as described in the OBIS manual
Receiving or harvesting marine biodiversity data (and metadata) from national, regional and international programs, and the scientific
community at large
Report on activities to SG-OBIS
Reporting the results of quality control directly to data collectors/originator as part of the quality assurance activity
Reporting the results of quality control directly to tier III
The OBIS node shall nominate a node manager (and deputy) who will be a member of the IODE Steering Group for OBIS (SG-OBIS), and
participate in various activities associated with OBIS and IODE, such as the SG-OBIS meetings and electronic discussions
Capacity Building (i.e., providing expertise, training and support in data management, technologies, standards and best practices).
M (to tier III)
Providing marine data to external networks (e.g., GBIF)
Providing statistics on data content and analysis on gaps
Contribute to the development of open-source tools
Contribute to the development of standards and best practices
Engage in stakeholder groups
Ensuring the long-term preservation of the data, metadata and associated information required for correct interpretation of the data
(including version-control), as described in the OBIS manual
In the absence of an active tier III nor tier II, tier I (iOBIS) can perform tasks
under tier II and III, or a tier III needs to fill in a tier II (*).
M = mandatory, R = recommended, O = optional
What does it mean at a technical
• Providing multiple datasets in a standard format for
harvesting by iOBIS (Darwin Core Archive format)
• Having complete and good quality data and metadata
for each dataset
• Regular updates to the datasets where possible
• IPT Server to serve the datasets (or use the IPT
server of iOBIS to upload datasets)
• If you are an existing NODC (within the IODE
network) and the OBIS node activities fall under the
activities of the NODC
=> Send a letter expressing your interest to become an
OBIS node (including contact information of the OBIS
node manager, and geographical/thematic scope of
your OBIS node)
• If you are not an existing NODC, apply to become an
IODE Associate Data Unit (with a specific role as
What are the benefits for ADUs?
Being associated with IODE means the following:
You will have access to IODE documentation and expertise in the area of
oceanographic data management and marine information management;
You will be part of the IODE information dissemination network related to
oceanographic data management and marine information management;
You will be able to obtain IODE (OceanTeacher) technical training related to
oceanographic data management and marine information management
You will be invited to make your data and information available through relevant
IODE mechanisms (e.g., OceanDataPortal, OceanDocs, OceanExpert, OBIS,…)
You will be invited to participate in IODE projects
You will be invited to designate experts to participate in IODE project steering
groups or IODE groups of experts (short-term members).
How to become an ADU/OBIS
IODE invites any project, programme, institution or organization that is willing to comply with the
Terms of Reference to apply to join IODE as an IODE Associate Data Unit (ADU) by providing
the following information (sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with copy to email@example.com) :
Name and contact information of the ADU contact point(s).
ii. Name and contact point of the head of the applicant entity.
iii. Description of the national, regional or international project, programme, institution or
iv. Brief description of data services/products provided by the entity.
v. For projects: expected lifespan of the project and indication of plan for the archival/preservation
of the data, data management plan.
vi. Letters of support.
vii. Required expertise, training that IODE could contribute.
viii.Data policy (if identified) of the applicant entity.
ix. Details of any existing relationship with an NODC.
Once your application is received…
• Applications for ADUs will be reviewed by the IODE
Steering Group for OBIS. You will receive a response
within two weeks after confirmation of receipt of your