UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

10/18/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/18/2021 02:52

UNESCO launches global eDNA project to study vulnerability of species to climate change at marine World Heritage sites

An ambitious project using cutting edge environmental DNA, known as eDNA, to understand the richness of biodiversity of UNESCO's marine World Heritage sites launches today. It will involve the collection by scientists and local residents of genetic material from waste, mucus or the cells of fish from across select marine World Heritage sites, with the aim of monitoring fish, including species red-listed by the International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN). eDNA involves collecting and analyzing samples collected from the environment (soil, water, air) rather than an individual organism.

The two-year eDNA project(link is external)will help measure the vulnerability of marine biodiversity to climate change and the impacts of that change on the distribution and migration patterns of marine life across marine World Heritage sites. Launched at the start of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), it will help understand global trends and inform ongoing efforts to protect marine ecosystems and ensure future generations continue to enjoy the services they provide.