[Cod. 101081642 OBAMA-NEXT]

OBAMA-NEXT aims to develop a toolbox for generating accurate, precise and relevant information characterising
marine ecosystems and their biodiversity. This will be achieved by integrating new/emerging technologies, including
remote sensing, eDNA, optical instruments and citizen science, with existing marine monitoring techniques for
improving our capacity to describe ecosystem function and biodiversity with higher spatial and temporal resolution.
The project will contribute to shaping next generation monitoring programs and defining Essential Ocean/Biodiversity
Variables (EOVs/EBVs). Stakeholders will be involved from the onset of the project to identify products needed
in an iterative co-creating and specification process. These specifications will guide the application of algorithms,
including advanced statistical analyses and artificial intelligence, which combine and translate different data sources into
information products (i.e., maps and indicators) to fulfil stakeholders’ needs. Routines for visualisation and methods for
uncertainty assessment are also important components of the toolbox development. The toolbox will be evaluated and
improved based on 12 selected Learning Sites (LS), representing diverse ecosystems and data sources within the four
European regional seas. The applicability of the information products, compiled with the toolbox on LS data, will be
evaluated as input to models for predicting biodiversity and as support for environmental and biodiversity policies. The
project will also assess the usefulness of the products with respect to the EU objective of designating an ecologically
coherent MPA network and the applicability of C-burial rates in angiosperm habitats for carbon offsetting and Nationally
Determined Contributions. OBAMA-NEXT will strengthen Europe’s capability in acquiring and utilising biological
ocean observations for better management of marine resources through strong public outreach and active stakeholder