Biogeographic regions are a useful descriptor of biological units that integrates ecological and evolutionary processes. The distribution of biodiversity will be a key element in identifying and prioritising area-based management, including marine protected areas, in areas beyond national jurisdiction, including in the Indian Ocean.
To provide a more holistic picture in the Indian ocean, Australia’s National Science Agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) recently led a scientific process to merge existing bioregionalisation efforts, and along with scientific experts from Indian Ocean coastal states, update them with detailed regional knowledge to produce a single set of bioregions that describe the benthic and pelagic ecosystems of the Indian ocean.
This has resulted in the development of a new draft scientific bioregionalisation for the Indian Ocean, drawing on experience in CSIRO, Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) partners, and other regional and national collaborators.
In this context, the CSIRO, in collaboration with the IORA secretariat and the Australian Government Departments of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water and Foreign Affairs and Trade, propose to hold a series of workshops (two virtual and one face-to-face) with nominated IORA member state and dialogue partner participants.
The series of workshops aims to: