The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) is a network of European organisations working together to observe the oceans, to make the collected marine data freely available and interoperable, to create seamless data layers across sea-basins and to distribute the data and data products through the Internet. The primary aim of EMODnet is to unlock existing but fragmented and hidden marine data and make them accessible for a wide range of users including private bodies, public authorities and researchers.
Professor David Johnson trained as a physical geographer and completed an MSc in Recreational Land Management (National Parks) in 1982. He spent time as a Royal Navy officer (hydrography, fishery protection), co-ordinated practical conservation work (habitat restoration), and practised as an independent environmental consultant (EIAs, environmental auditing, corporate social reporting). In 1992 he joined Southampton Solent University as a Senior Lecturer in marine resource management, becoming first Head of the Maritime Studies Department and in 2003 Professor of Coastal and Ocean Management. He completed his PhD on the ecosystem goods and services of intertidal wetlands in 1998 and was a short-term Caird Fellow of the UK National Maritime Museum in 2002.
In 2006, David was appointed as Executive Secretary to the OSPAR Commission, the international convention for the environmental protection of the North-East Atlantic confirming him as a leading expert in global ocean policy. He was intensively involved in the production of the OSPAR Quality Status Report 2010 and subsequent regional implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Amongst other achievements, David coordinated and negotiated legislation for carbon capture and storage in deep sea geological formations (2007), Recommendations for the management of threatened and/or declining deep sea species and habitats (2010/11), and the establishment of the world’s first network of marine protected areas in Area Beyond National Jurisdiction (2010/2012). David has convened Ministerial meetings for both the OSPAR Commission and the Bonn Agreement; chaired an EU Workshop on marine spatial planning; moderated sessions for both the United Nations Environment Programme and the Convention on Biological Diversity, and presented at many high-level meetings including the UN Working Group and Preparatory Committee on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction.
David has also successfully concluded and operationalised partnership arrangements between OSPAR and the North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, the International Maritime Organisation and the International Seabed Authority. He is currently registered as a GESAMP expert and is a Visiting Professor at the World Maritime University in Sweden. David is the Coordinator for the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI).