B-CHARMED project (The Black Coral forests as unexplored Biodiversity Hotspots in the MAcaronesian Region: ecosysteM functions and sErvices analyseD), will develop new acoustic methodologies enabling the characterisation and mapping of the underwater Black Coral Forests (BCF) from the island of Lanzarote, in the Canary Archipelago, including also the evaluation of associated biodiversity.
Nowadays, these marine habitats are not included in any national or regional protection directive, although they are considered as Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), under the United Nations General Assembly resolutions 61/105 and 64/72, as well as in the Appendix 2 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The current knowledge about these habitats throughout the Macaronesia, including the Canary Islands, is still extremely poor, due mainly to the physical and biological limitations linked to their exploration, in comparison with their tropical counterparts.
This research is part of the LIFE4BEST program, which provides funding grants for actions focused on the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of ecosystem services in EU outermost regions (ORs).
B-CHARMED has been selected among 18 other projects, following the first LIFE4BEST call for proposals corresponding to 2019.