The agreement signals that the objectives for fisheries and living resources management and conservation policies are beginning to come together. This new partnership is strategically important as CBD brings expertise in conservation and applied biodiversity issues, whilst ICES provides the science input to inform the management of marine activities.
The agreement was prepared in connection with the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI), Global Dialogue with Regional Seas Organizations and Regional Fisheries Bodies on Accelerating Progress Towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 27 September.
Wojciech Wawrzynski, the incoming ICES Head of Science Support participated in the meeting, presenting ICES role and scientific contributions towards obtaining the biodiversity targets. Wawrzynski observed that the new agreement will enhance "coordination of management measures in different maritime sectors between Regional Seas Organizations, UNEP, and Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) initiatives as well as regional-scale progress in achieving the Aichi biodiversity targets, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and alignment of indicators between the two."
The agreement spans the areas of monitoring, assessment, and the provision of advice for management. The cooperation is relevant, particularly in the way ICES works with partners such as HELCOM and OSPAR on the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), and with FAO, NOAA and DFO on the ecosystem-based approach. These policies and institutions require knowledge development in the areas of conservation and stewardship of the marine environment.
In recognition of the urgent need to halt and reverse trends in global biodiversity loss, the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020. Its vision states, "By 2020 biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people."