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Global Biodiversity Monitoring, Prediction & Reporting

Spatio-temporal biodiversity and environmental information is fundamental to many Future Earth projects, and a key measure for assessing the success of development or transformations towards sustainability. Understanding spatio-temporal variation in biodiversity will improve our ability to perceive how ecosystems function. Geographical shifts in different components of biodiversity under changing environments inform about the potential impacts on the provision of ecosystem services in the short- and longer-term future. Knowledge and understanding of such changes will allow us to develop more informed Earth System models and to respond through developing and implementing adaptation and mitigation measures.

This cluster will bring together the observational, remote sensing and modelling communities that are collecting and using spatio-temporally explicit biodiversity or environmental data. The goal is to raise awareness and appreciation for biodiversity data and science in Future Earth, to foster cross-disciplinary engagement and collaboration (with the Earth system observing/modeling and social science communities) and to support Future Earth needs in addressing questions surrounding global ‘data’ integration and infrastructure, contributing to the ‘data task force’ of Future Earth.

A first large workshop in April or May 2015 at the Greenberg Center in Yale, USA brought together communities and initiatives that collect biodiversity data (distributions, abundances, traits & functional types) to select collaborative research examples for a few small follow-up workshops, showcasing the contributions of globally coordinated/integrated biodiversity monitoring, prediction and reporting, such as:

  • Develop common meta standards for data collection, storage, and policy.
  • Survey existing projects and identify gaps in monitoring activities and spatio-temporal biodiversity knowledge.
  • Identify opportunities for intersection of different environmental and biological data sources and types that hold particular promise for change monitoring.
  • Document the connection between (e.g. remotely sensed) environmental and biological variation and how it affects spatio-temporal patterns and change in ecosystems, biological communities, species, populations, traits and genetic patterns.
  • Capture, report and predict ongoing changes of different biodiversity attributes (including functional diversity derived from ecosystem models) under global environmental change and contribute to assessing the resulting consequences for ecosystem function and service provision.
  • Develop and provide integrated knowledge products (e.g. map layers, biodiversity trends) to support the various global monitoring initiatives (e.g. GEOSS, GEO BON), assessment mechanisms (e.g. IPBES, CBD, IPCC), and Future Earth projects.
  • Embark on a white paper on global spatio-temporal biodiversity monitoring, prediction and reporting.

Website of the Cluster on Global Biodiversity Monitoring, Prediction & Reporting