September 24, 2015

Connecting the dots: Integrated biodiversity data could be the key to a sustainable future

 This figure illustrates how biodiversity data can be mobilised by Biodiversity Observation Networks
(BONs), such as the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON), for use in policy
implementation. Data leveraged from various sources are standardised and integrated by BONs
(e.g. application of standards, creation of data and knowledge products, modelling),
whilst ensuring alignment with policy needs.

(September 24, 2015)  Biodiversity Observation Networks (BONs) have recently become a hot topic on the scene of natural sciences. But what is their role in advancing our knowledge of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services?

A new paper in the Biodiversity journal uses the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON) as an example, to explain how they can fill in gaps and address existing barriers in knowledge through implementing an integrated biodiversity information framework.

This figure illustrates geographical gaps in biodiversity data in Europe, using Arthropoda as an
example. The figure uses 12.62 million occurrence records (globally) from 1970 to March 2015,
accessed from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).
Lighter colours indicate more available data

Biodiversity supports essential ecosystem services that are key to human well-being. The ongoing global biodiversity decline is a threat to humans, particularly in developing countries.

The Aichi biodiversity targets of the United Nations' Strategic Plan for Biodiversity set ambitious goals for protecting biodiversity from further decline, but gaps in knowledge still sit in the way of monitoring progress, hindering the assessment of the current status and future trends of biodiversity.

There is an urgent need for a paradigm shift with regards to how biodiversity data are collected, stored, shared and streamlined in order to tackle many sustainable development challenges ahead.

Solving issues of biodiversity knowledge gaps and data reuse are a main focus of the EU BON project and provide a European contribution to GEO (Group on Earth Observations) and the wider Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

The EU BON project aims at addressing the need for a shift towards an integrative biodiversity information framework, starting from collection to the final interpretation and packaging of data.

journal reference (Open Access)  >>