Analysis of these samples will help us understand how biodiversity hotspots are shifting due to climate change and where to focus conservation efforts in the future.
Collecting more evidence and sharing that knowledge more rapidly and openly has never been more important in tackling the existential crisis humanity faces with climate disruption, said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
To address this challenge, UNESCO is mobilizing its wide-reaching network of partners in the natural marine sites it protects.
UNESCO has selected 25 marine World Heritage sites located around the world for an initial pilot phase. Sampling began in September 2022. It has already taken place at sites located in Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. Other samples are planned in the coming months at sites in Bangladesh, Belize, France, Mauritania, Mexico, Panama, United-States, Sudan, Yemen, etc.
Rising ocean temperatures due to climate change threaten protected species and force them to seek cooler areas, hence the need to assess current scenario and project the future.
DNA techniques are key to the study because of their scope, effectiveness and non-invasive nature.