Strengthening biodiversity observation in support of decision making with the EU project MARCO-BOLO (MARine Coastal BiOdiversity Long-term Observations)
Funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme and the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), MARCO-BOLO is a €7.3 million, 4-year project that will structure and strengthen European coastal and marine biodiversity observation capabilities, linking them to global efforts to understand and restore ocean health.
The project kick-off meeting took place in Paris from 14 to 15 March 2023, gathering more than 80 participants from the project’s 28 partner institutions emanating from 14 countries and collaborating projects and partners. The meeting also included representatives from the European Commission, the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON), EU4OceanObs, and related European-funded Horizon Europe and H2020 projects OBAMA-next, BIOcean5D, DTO- Bioflow, EuropaBON. The project is coordinated by the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC), one of the leading European Research Infrastructures, which aims at advancing ocean science to better address global environmental and societal issues.
EMBRC ERIC Executive Director and MARCO-BOLO project coordinator Nicolas Pade at the MARCO-BOLO project kick-off meeting in March 2023
MARCO-BOLO’s key objectives
The project has the following key objectives:
- Improve acquisition, coordination and delivery of marine, coastal and freshwater biodiversity observations to relevant users.
- Enable technologies for cost-effective, timely and accurate biodiversity observations.
- Test new tools, technologies and models to better understand biodiversity decline.
- Empower European biodiversity observatory operators, data producers and users by creating and sharing best practice guidelines for gathering and using biodiversity data to contribute to biodiversity restoration efforts.
MARCO-BOLO objectives are of European and global importance. The project deliverables will provide tangible advice for a sustainable research pipeline from data collection to data use and for a better coordinated global observing system that can better connect biodiversity with ecosystem services. A close collaboration between MARCO-BOLO and EU4OceanObs will ensure that the project outcomes are being communicated, in the international ocean governance landscape, as one of the many EU contributions to enhance collection and use of ocean data for societal challenges and needs.