The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS, www.iobis.org) is the largest global information source on marine species distributions and plays a key role in IOC/IODE and UNESCO's programmes and Strategy for Action on Climate Change, as well as contributes to the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
However, it is now necessary to mobilize extra-budgetary funding for the continued operation of the OBIS programme from 2013 onwards.
Contributions to, and participation in, the IODE/OBIS programme will ensure the maintenance and further growth of marine biodiversity data within UNESCO and will facilitate the complex multidisciplinary studies necessary to understand ocean processes, their relation to global change and their interaction with human activities.
The purpose of this letter (attached) is to invite you to contribute to the IOC Special Account, dedicated to OBIS, so as to enable the IOC to fulfill the commitment it made to the continuation and further development of OBIS. We hope you or funding agencies can consider supporting this new and important activity within IODE.