DOSI Updates April 2019

[from Deep-Sea Life Vol 13]

Over the past few months, DOSI members have been making great leaps forward in advancing science in environmental policy. Read below to see highlights from some of the current working groups. This work would not be possible without the guidance from Arcadia who support DOSI with core funds. Further critical funding is supplied by Benioff Ocean Initiative, JM Kaplan Fund, PEW Charitable Trusts and Synchronicity Earth. DOSI continues to grow and we are now a network of over 650 members from a variety of nations, sectors and disciplines. Look out for our new professional and streamlined DOSI website this summer!

Minerals WG

The DOSI delegation of seven experts, led by Dr Diva Amon, attended the International Seabed Authority 25th Annual Session in February 2019, and delivered a well-attended side-event entitled: New scientific knowledge to guide the environmental management and regulatory framework for deep-sea mining. Four DOSI interventions were also made. Preparations are underway for the July 2019 session. Recent paper published by members of this DOSI group: Tunnicliffe et al. (2019) Strategic Environmental Goals and Objectives: Setting the basis for environmental regulation of deep seabed mining. Marine Policy.
Read more about this group’s activities here.


DOSI made quite a splash at the BBNJ negotiations in March 2019 (at the ‘make or break’ IGC2) with a delegation of eight scientists and legal experts, led by Harriet Harden-Davies. DOSI policy briefs on Marine Genetic Resources were quoted on the floor by State delegations and DOSI also made interventions. Five side-events were co-organised by DOSI during this meeting with IGOs and States, generating positive feedback from States about our constructive and evidence-based statements. For all policy briefs and further information about this group’s activities see here.

Decade of Deep-Sea Science WG

As a result of DOSI Day 2018 discussions (photo at top) and a further WG meeting in Aveiro in October, members of the Decade WG have produced a document entitled: Deep-Sea Research in the Decade of Ocean Science: Mapping the role of the deep ocean in human society which is being distributed to national delegations of the IOC and elements highlighted during the 1st UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Global Planning Meeting held in Copenhagen in May 2019 which DOSI representatives attended.

Climate Change WG

Following on from DOSI attendance to UNFCCC COP meetings where we have highlighted deep ocean impacts, the Climate group have recently produced a BBNJ-Climate Policy Brief (Link), circulated during IGC1 September 2018, which led to a requested contribution on climate change in the deep in a side event at the recent IGC2 meeting in March 2019. Several DOSI Climate WG members are contributing to an IPCC special report on Ocean and Cryopshere. This report is due Sept 2019. Deep-Ocean Climate Change Impacts on Habitat, Fish and Fisheries have been discussed in a recently published FAO technical report in collaboration with DOSI climate and fisheries WGs (link). Lisa Levin presented “Sustainability in Deep Water: Climate Change, Human Pressures and Biodiversity Conservation as this year’s Roger Revelle commemorative lecture at the National Academies of the Sciences in April. DOSI preparations are underway for COP 25 (Chile).


Participants within the Deep-Sea Genetic Resources WG have submitted a manuscript entitled ‘Review of practices regarding access to Marine Genetic Resources (MGR) raising awareness and strengthening bestpractices through a new agreement for biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)’ (Muriel Rabone et al). This manuscript was distilled into a policy brief and distributed during IGC2 in March 2019. Professor Marcel Jaspars (co-lead of DSGR working group) and colleagues at the University of Aberdeen co-hosted a side event with IUCN and DOSI at IGC2 focusing on: Access and Benefit Sharing and Capacity Building, exploring solutions to enable scientific research, innovation and commercialisation of MGR in ABNJ.

Pollution WG

Jennifer Durden (NOCS, UK) will co-lead a new DOSI WG on pollution with Lucy Woodall (Uni of Oxford, UK). They will work with a small group to decide on a strategy and main group missions in advance of inviting group membership interest from the community.

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