From 27 to 30 March 2022, UNESCO undertook a pilot environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling campaign in the Gulf of Porto: Calanche of Piana, Gulf of Girolata, Scandola Reserve World Heritage site (France), to prepare the global roll-out of its citizen science eDNA initiative.
Youth aged 7 to 11 years old from the school in Ota-Porto nearby the World Heritage area collected eDNA samples and discussed their experiences with teachers. During the sampling campaign, local scientists and site managers shared their recommendations, which helped develop the sampling methodology for the project’s global deployment. The pilot sampling in Gulf of Porto World Heritage area (France) allowed the project team to finetune the practical and scientific components ahead of its global launch in the second half of 2022.
Environmental DNA (eDNA) expeditions is a global citizen science initiative that will help measure biodiversity across select marine World Heritage sites and allow better understanding of the impacts of climate change on the distribution and migration patterns of marine life.
The eDNA initiative, which was launched in October 2021, has a duration of two years and will collect eDNA samples in approximately 25 World Heritage marine sites.
The project is implemented by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and World Heritage Centre, with the support of the Government of Flanders. It is the first UN Decade Action for Marine World Heritage, in the context of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
More information about the project is available here.