GEO Contributes to UN Resolution on Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters

GEO BON marks a decade of biodiversity & conservation efforts

GEO BON has made remarkable progress since its inception over a decade ago. It has developed into an internationally recognised organization with 800 members registered on the online platform from over 560 institutions and 90 countries. It is recognised by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as a key organization for biodiversity monitoring globally.

GEO BON coordinates efforts to design and implement interoperable national and regional biodiversity monitoring programmes. GEO BON has developed a global network and community of practice for biodiversity observations. This open network includes world-renowned leaders in biodiversity observations, as well as major partner organisations working in biodiversity monitoring. Through its global network of organizations and experts, GEO BON supports the sharing and dissemination of information and technology for biodiversity observations.

The Essential Biodiversity Variable framework (EBV) and “BON in a Box”

The Essential Biodiversity Variable framework (EBV) and the “BON in a Box” tool catalogue are two of GEO BON’s primary vehicles for delivering technical information to its participants. The EBV Framework was referenced in the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Global Assessment in 2018. The development of the “BON in a Box” toolkit has increased engagement of National, Regional and Thematic Biodiversity Observation Networks (BONs).

In July 2018, GEO BON organised an All Hands meeting in Beijing, China which developed the “Beijing Call on Biodiversity Observations for Post-2020 Decision Making.” The Beijing Call has been central to GEO BON’s contribution to the post-2020 biodiversity framework of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). It was presented as one of the interventions during the UN CBD COP14 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in December 2018.

Mike Gill, Director of Biodiversity Indicators Programme, NatureServe, and Laetitia Navarro, Executive Secretary of the Group on Earth Observations - Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) reading the Beijing call during the COP14 in Egypt

 

Read the Beijing Call here.

 

At the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD COP14) Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17 - 29 November 2018, the GEO BON Portal was launched with datasets loaded in the visualizer/analyser part of the portal.

The network continues to grow, in November 2018 a new thematic BON, the Soil BON was approved and a new regional BON, the Americas-BON was accepted in July 2019.

The gallery can be accessed here.

Mike Gill, Director of Biodiversity Indicators Programme, NatureServe, and Laetitia Navarro, Executive Secretary of the Group on Earth Observations - Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) reading the Beijing call during the COP14 in Egypt

 

Read the Beijing Call here.

 

At the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD COP14) Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 17 - 29 November 2018, the GEO BON Portal was launched with datasets loaded in the visualizer/analyser part of the portal.

The network continues to grow, in November 2018 a new thematic BON, the Soil BON was approved and a new regional BON, the Americas-BON was accepted in July 2019.

GEO BON also produces a range of scientific publications, with a total of 74 peer reviewed articles now available on the website here. 

 

The GEO Handbook on Biodiversity Observation Networks, published in open access in 2016 with Springer, has been downloaded 170K. Get your copy here.

 

Asia Pacific BON show impacts of dams on freshwater fish biodiversity in the lower Mekong Basin

 

The lower Mekong region is a global biodiversity hotspot. It is characterized by high fish richness. As the world’s largest freshwater fishery, yields from the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) alone are estimated at 2.1–2.2 million tonnes annually.

Asia Pacific BON (APBON) studied the impacts of hydropower dams and global warming (and their synergistic effects) on freshwater fish biodiversity in the lower Mekong region, estimated by fish biodiversity data from more than 1500 sites. This research was conducted by The Ministry of Environment Japan, which aimed to enhance the observation and monitoring of biodiversity in the region.

While hydropower dams produce energy with less exhaust from CO2 and GHG emissions than carbon intensive energy production, the negative impacts on freshwater fish biodiversity seemed to be significant. For example, fish species richness of the lower Mekong region was expected to reduce by more than 30% due to the dam construction. This information has significance on decision making for future construction projects. Nagao Natural Environmental Foundation provided the extensive fish distribution data for the region.

The study not only focuses on biodiversity of fish, but also on the issue of water resources management in river basins under climate change.  Notably the data is relevant for SDG2 and SDG6, by ensuring lower Mekong region has better information to make decisions in support of food security and sustainable use of inland water resources.

BON-Colombia BioModelos: A collaborative online system to model species distribution

 

BON-Colombia, a national network of GEO BON, has created the BioModelos system to strengthen collaboration and networking for national biodiversity modelling and monitoring. BioModelos is a collaborative online system to model species distribution using, inter alia, national biodiversity monitoring.  

The system is improving open and collaborative communication between experts in biodiversity to develop distribution models for the existing species in Colombia. This initiative brings together researchers, government institutions, NGOs and citizens to access accurate and validated information on the distribution of species in Colombia. The system serves as reference for future studies and decision making on biodiversity.

In addition, one of the A.50 projects funded by NASA for the GEO Work Programme is directly linked to BioModelos. The project, “Expanding Wallace Biodiversity Modeling Software to Support National Biodiversity Change Indicator Calculations for GEO BON Assessment and Reporting“ is developing new software to assess biodiversity change indicators by building on the recently developed software Wallace as a new GEO BON in a Box tool.  

The data can be found here.

Quantifying Forest Vertical Structure Using Spaceborne Lidar: A GEO BON Essential Biodiversity Variable Application in Colombia

In collaboration with BON-Colombia and NASA, researchers at the Northern University of Arizona and Colombia’s Alexander von Humboldt Institute have developed an Essential Biodiversity Variable (EBV) application for quantifying forest vertical structure using spaceborne lidar. By quantifying habitat structure and its changes over time, researchers can better predict habitat use for a range of animals and plant species in forest ecosystems.

Built on a NASA project called “Quantifying Forest Vertical Structure Using Spaceborne Lidar: A GEO BON Essential Biodiversity Variable Application in Colombia,” a comprehensive mapping of Earth’s biodiversity is a priority to maintain healthy ecosystem functions.

Habitat structure is one of six EBV classes defined in the EBV framework and has been highlighted as a priority for mapping from space. Although Earth observations have greatly increased our understanding of Earth’s ecosystems over the past several decades, especially the horizontal distribution of forests and other major vegetation types, we still lack precise measurements of vertical habitat structure and its distribution for large land areas.  This application aims to increase the use of EO for these purposes.