The GEO XIII Plenary in St. Petersburg  enjoyed a huge interest and support from many member governments, agencies and networks with around 400 registered participants this year.

Having taken place from 7-10 November 2016, the event featured a plenary, a number of side events and exhibition to give a chance to participants to meet up and discuss ideas and progress.

Left: The EU BON booth at the GEO exhibition - F. Wetzel, Ch. Häuser, H. Saarenmaa; Right: Director General  J.E. Smits and Christoph Häuser; Credits: F. Wetzel

On the sidelines of the Plenary the Director-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, Robert-Jan Smits, personally informed himself in a conversation with Dr. Christoph Häuser, project lead of EU BON on the success and performance of the EU BON project.

At the GEO Exhibition 45 participating organizations and agencies presented their current achievements in the realm of earth observation products. EU BON was part of the European Commission’s area where GEO-related projects were shown. The project showcased its latest products as well as provided live demonstrations by Dr. Hannu Saarenmaa of the beta-version of the European Biodiversity Portal.

Taking place just before the plenary, around 20 side events gave an interesting overview of current GEO-related projects and topics. One of the side events was targeted on citizen science and EU-funded projects, where EU BON’s coordinator Christoph Häuser presented the developments of the network with regards to its citizen science activities, particularly its developments of mobile apps for collecting citizen science data.

Christoph Häuser presenting  citizen science related activities of EU BON; Credit: F. Wetzel. 

Learn more about the portal in the relevant policy brief, or test it at:

For more information about EU BON products and research, you can also watch the project video:



Posted by Eu Bon

A new editorial, published in the Journal of Apllied Ecology looks at modelling and monitoring as methods for adaptive biodiversity management in the 21st century.


With increasing threats on biodiversity, informed conservation decisions need to be based on currently observed and future predicted trends of biodiversity (Pereira, Navarro & Martins 2012; Guisan et al. 2013). In this regard, two essential components supporting informed biodiversity conservation decisions are good monitoring data to assess recent and ongoing trends (Collen et al. 2013; Pereira et al. 2013) and robust models to anticipate possible future trends (Pereira et al. 2010a; Akcakaya et al. 2016). Models benefit from robust monitoring data sets, that is repeated observations of biodiversity, as they need data to be fitted or validated, but models can also help assess data representativeness (e.g. by highlighting any bias), support proper data collection (e.g. covering the relevant gradients) or be used to make more effective use of biodiversity observations (Guisan et al. 2006, 2013; Ferrier 2011).

Read more in the open access paper.

Posted by Eu Bon

Being voluntary, citizen science work is often automatically assumed to also be openly available. Contrary to the expectations, however, a recent study of the datasets available from volunteers on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) prove to be among the most restrictive in how they can be used.

There is a high demand for biodiversity observation data to inform conservation and environmental policy, and citizen scientists generate the vast majority of terrestrial biodiversity observations. The analysis on GBIF showed that citizen science datasets comprise 10% of datasets on GBIF, but actually account for the impressive 60% of all observations.

Invaluable as a resource for conservationists and biodiversity scientists, however, these resources unfortunately often come with restrictions for re-use. Although the vast majority of citizen science datasets did not include a license statement, as a whole, they ranked low on the openness of their data.

The assumption that voluntary data collection leads to data sharing is not only not reflecting the real situation, but also does not recognize the wishes and motivations of those who collect data, nor does it respects the crucial contributions of these data to long-term monitoring of biodiversity trends.

In a recent commentary paper, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, EU BON partners suggest ways to improve data openness. According to the researchers citizen scientists should be recognised in ways that correspond with their motivations, in addition its is advisable that organisations that manage these data should make their data sharing policies open and explicit.

Original Research:

Groom, Q., Weatherdon, L. & Geijzendorffer, I. (2016) Is citizen science an open science in the case of biodiversity observations? Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12767

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A new EU BON derived paper, publsihed recently in the journal Remote Sensing, introduces eHabitat+, a habitat modelling service supporting the European Commission’s Digital Observatory for Protected Areas.


Protected areas (PAs) need to be assessed systematically according to biodiversity values and threats in order to support decision-making processes. For this, PAs can be characterized according to their species, ecosystems and threats, but such information is often difficult to access and usually not comparable across regions. There are currently over 200,000 PAs in the world, and assessing these systematically according to their ecological values remains a huge challenge. However, linking remote sensing with ecological modelling can help to overcome some limitations of conservation studies, such as the sampling bias of biodiversity inventories. The aim of this paper is to introduce eHabitat+, a habitat modelling service supporting the European Commission’s Digital Observatory for Protected Areas, and specifically to discuss a component that systematically stratifies PAs into different habitat functional types based on remote sensing data. eHabitat+ uses an optimized procedure of automatic image segmentation based on several environmental variables to identify the main biophysical gradients in each PA. This allows a systematic production of key indicators on PAs that can be compared globally. Results from a few case studies are illustrated to show the benefits and limitations of this open-source tool.

Original Source: 

Martínez-López, J.; Bertzky, B.; Bonet-García, F.J.; Bastin, L.; Dubois, G. Biophysical Characterization of Protected Areas Globally through Optimized Image Segmentation and Classification. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 780. DOI: 0.3390/rs8090780

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The EU is a party to the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation. The EU ABS Regulation1, which transposes into the EU legal order the compliance pillar of the Protocol, became applicable as of 12 October 2014. The principal obligations of the Regulation – i.e. Article 4 on due diligence, Article 7 on monitoring user compliance and Article 9 on checks on user compliance – will become applicable as of 12 October 2015.

In this context it is important that those who utilise genetic resources (i.e. conduct research and development on the genetic and/or biological composition of genetic resources, including through the application of biotechnology) are aware of the obligations arising from the Regulation, and that they can take the necessary measures to ensure their activities are compliant.

What's in it for you?

The EU ABS Regulation workshop aims at providing the participants with knowledge about their obligations under the EU ABS Regulation and what they practically imply for their everyday work. In the first part of the workshop, the new legal framework will be explained, providing insight into the main provisions of the EU ABS Regulation. In the second part of the workshop, participants will have a chance to put the knowledge gained into practice through interactive case studies, based on real-life examples and realistic scenarios.

The workshop should allow participants to better understand their obligations under the EU law, and to establish which steps they need to follow and which practical measures they should take when dealing with genetic resources originating from Parties to the Nagoya Protocol.

Planning and location of the workshops: 

Feel free to apply for registration to one of the following workshops:

  • 18 October: Stockholm
  • 17 November: Warsaw
  • 21 November: Leiden
  • Date to be determined: Budapest

The workshop is targeted at senior academics and experienced researchers conducting research and development on genetic resources who have an interest in gaining an essential understanding of the new legal framework in the EU, in view of the ABS Regulation becoming fully operational later this year.

Registration page:

Posted by Eu Bon

Key in ensuring the effectiveness of conservation efforts and maintaining ecosystem health, measuring biodiversity can benefit greatly when remote sensing data comes into the equation. A new EU BON related paper, published in the journal Ecological Indicators, proposes open source solutions for measuring the important Rao's Q index, when it comes to remote sensing data.


Measuring biodiversity is a key issue in ecology to guarantee effective indicators of ecosystem health at different spatial and time scales. However, estimating biodiversity from field observations might present difficulties related to costs and time needed. Moreover, a continuous data update for biodiversity monitoring purposes might be prohibitive. From this point of view, remote sensing represents a powerful tool since it allows to cover wide areas in a relatively low amount of time. One of the most common indicators of biodiversity is Shannon's entropy H′, which is strictly related to environmental heterogeneity, and thus to species diversity. However, Shannon's entropy might show drawbacks once applied to remote sensing data, since it considers relative abundances but it does not explicitly account for distances among pixels’ numerical values. In this paper we propose the use of Rao's Q applied to remotely sensed data, providing a straightforward R-package function to calculate it in 2D systems. We will introduce the theoretical rationale behind Rao's index and then provide applied examples based on the proposed R function.

Original Source: 

Rocchini, D., Marcantonio, M., Ricotta, C. (2017). Measuring Rao's Q diversity index rom remote sensing: an open source solution. Ecological Indicators, 72: 234-238. [5years-IF: 3.649] DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.07.039

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Are protected areas working when it comes to promoting biodivesity? A new study, published in Nature Communications, shows that local biodiversity is actually higher within, rather than outside protected areas.


Protected areas are widely considered essential for biodiversity conservation. However, few global studies have demonstrated that protection benefits a broad range of species. Here, using a new global biodiversity database with unprecedented geographic and taxonomic coverage, we compare four biodiversity measures at sites sampled in multiple land uses inside and outside protected areas. Globally, species richness is 10.6% higher and abundance 14.5% higher in samples taken inside protected areas compared with samples taken outside, but neither rarefaction-based richness nor endemicity differ significantly. Importantly, we show that the positive effects of protection are mostly attributable to differences in land use between protected and unprotected sites. Nonetheless, even within some human-dominated land uses, species richness and abundance are higher in protected sites. Our results reinforce the global importance of protected areas but suggest that protection does not consistently benefit species with small ranges or increase the variety of ecological niches.

Original Source:

The original article is openly accessible at:

Posted by Eu Bon

As a part of the celebrations of  a 25th Anniversary, GRID-Warsaw is holding an international conference Science, Business and EnvironmentThe conference will take place on 15 Sep 206 and is organized in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 

The main objective is to present the state, changes and threats (hot issues) for the pan-European continent, identified in the latest UNEP report, released as part of the Global Environment Outlook series. The "GEO-6 Assessment for the pan-European region" report was published in June 2016, and first time presented at a conference of Environment Ministers on June 8, 2016 in Batumi. The conference in Warsaw will be the first event during which the report will be presented to the broader community, as well as become the subject of discussion of experts representing different backgrounds and different countries.

EU BON is partner of the conference - the conference is also connected to relevant issues of EU BON, namely collecting, sharing, and utilizing data and geoinformation tools for environmental investigations and biodiversity assessments. These topics will fill the most of a special panel session dedicated to biodiversity and be also present at the plenary opening session Environmental changes in the pan-European region - current trends and challenges. Using environmental data in science, business and administration. 

For further information about the event: agenda, invited panelists, descriptions of sessions, registration form etc. please visit

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The EU project EKLIPSE has joined our family of associated partners. The MoU was signed by Dr. Carsten Neßhöver, UFZ, on behalf of EKLIPSE project Coordinator Dr. Allan Watt (NERC-Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh, UK) and Dr. Anke Hoffmann, on behalf of EU BON Coordinator Dr. Christoph Häuser, during the 2016 GEO BON Open Science Conference & All Hands Meeting in Leipzig, Germany.


Dr. Carsten Neßhöver and Dr. Anke Hoffmann at the handing of the MoU; Credit: EKLIPSE

EKLIPSE is a EU project that will set up a sustainable and innovative way of knowing, networking and learning about biodiversity and ecosystem services. EKLIPSE is an unusual project in several ways, particularly:

Posted by Eu Bon

The ASEAN BIODIVERSITY UPDATES are published by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) to keep stakeholders informed of news about biodiversity concerns and efforts that are relevant to the ASEAN region. In its latest issue the newsletter provides an overview of the 2016  World Environment Day, as well as gives information about  the new ACB headquarters at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and the organization's training programs.

A special feature gives insights on the Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area in Indonesia, followed by country-specific biodiversity news from accross Southeast Asia.

The full issue is available here.

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The planetary boundaries framework attempts to set limits for biodiversity loss within which ecological function is relatively unaffected. In a recent article in Science Newbold et al. present a quantitative global analysis of the extent to which the proposed planetary boundary has been crossed. 


Land use and related pressures have reduced local terrestrial biodiversity, but it is unclear how the magnitude of change relates to the recently proposed planetary boundary ("safe limit"). We estimate that land use and related pressures have already reduced local biodiversity intactness—the average proportion of natural biodiversity remaining in local ecosystems—beyond its recently proposed planetary boundary across 58.1% of the world’s land surface, where 71.4% of the human population live. Biodiversity intactness within most biomes (especially grassland biomes), most biodiversity hotspots, and even some wilderness areas is inferred to be beyond the boundary. Such widespread transgression of safe limits suggests that biodiversity loss, if unchecked, will undermine efforts toward long-term sustainable development.

The study is available at http://dx.doi/10.1126/science.aaf2201


Posted by Eu Bon

A recent article in the academic journal Science published by Prof. Urmas Kõljalg and colleagues aims to explain the possibilities for identifying species determined based on DNA samples only.

The article was published as a response to David Hibbetts paper "The invisible dimension of fungal diversity". The American mycologist Hibbett argues that huge amount of fungal species cannot be identified and described scientifically as the international code does not permit describing new species based on DNA samples derived from molecular surveys of the environment. However, the Estonian and Swedish scientists show – analysing the same data – how DNA based fungal species have been identified and communicated for several years now using database UNITE (

In the forests of Laos the mushroom season has already begun.  Among the mushrooms presented on these dishes one can most likely also find species scientifically yet undescribed. The digital object identifiers (DOIs) system created by the scientists in Tartu permits comunication of these species already before they have been granted scientific names. Writing about poisonous mushrooms for example helps to keep people informed, so that cases of intoxication can be avoided more often. (Photo: Urmas Kõljalg)

"Traditionally species are determined based on their morphology and anatomy, in printed books – traditional keys to nature – species are displayed on pictures and in written descriptions. But DNA of fungi can also be found in samples of soil, of leaves, of air, in these circumstances we do not actually have the fungus itself and we cannot identify it visually," Urmas Kõljalg explains the core of the matter. "In this case, species can be determined evaluating their DNA sequences."

The UNITE Species Hypotheses approach demonstrates how the DNA based fungal species can be referred to in a proper scientific manner already before they have been described formally according to the code. This can be done using unique digital object identifiers (DOIs) given to all fungal species in the UNITE database. This keeps all the references automatically connected and machine-readable by other databases as well.

"Even if the species will have its name ten years from now, the DOI code will help us go back and see, where the species was first described and who found it," Urmas Kõljalg says.

For several years now by leading species classification platforms based on DNA sequences more than half a million DOI codes have been used as identifiers of fungal species. UNITE fungal codes are used by the most influential gene bank NCBI also. The UNITE system uses a new paradigm in identifying species, this paradigm was first described by Urmas Kõljalg and colleagues in 2013.

UNITE – the global unified system for the DNA based fungal species – contains information of all the fungal species known from sequence data, hundreds of researchers from all over the world are collaborating. UNITE is hosted by PlutoF cloud, which permits creating very complex databases for various biodiversity data, including DOIs. The development of PlutoF system is supported by the Estonian research infrastructures roadmap project NATARC (, EU BON (, etc. All scientists can use PlutoF for free.

Posted by Eu Bon

EU projects EuMon and EU BON call out to monitoring programs to share data and expertise for building the European Biodiversity Portal.

Combining forces, two large scale EU projects, EuMon and EU BON, are set to compile the largest data collection on biodiversity monitoring activities in Europe to date. Using existing biodiversity data and metadata collected by the two projects, the initiative is a stepping stone in completing a comprehensive European Biodiversity Portal. The projects now call out to monitoring programs across the Old Continent and beyond, to join in, provide information about their schemes and share their expertise for the cause.

For its life span between 2004 and 2008 the project EU-wide monitoring methods and systems of surveillance for species and habitats of Community interest (EuMon) created Europe's most comprehensive metadata catalogue of biodiversity monitoring activities.

Started in 2012, the five-year project Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network(EU BON) has been working towards building a new European Biodiversity Portal where this information is collected, highlighted and widely shared for future research and applied biodiversity conservation. The beta version is now all set up and available to test here.


To answer knowledge gaps since the project has ended in 2008, the original EuMon monitoring meta database is being further expanded with new information on data availability and access, as well as with new remote sensing data. Previously underrepresented, the marine realm is now also included in the EuMon collection.

"Monitoring data has received a central stage in recent years, a process largely facilitated by the instalment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). However, while knowledge about monitoring efforts is important, we still miss a large variety of available programs and biodiversity data", explains EuMon's Project Leader Prof. Dr. Klaus Henle, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ.

"We, therefore, currently aim to increase and update the number of monitoring programs in the EuMon catalogue, as the catalogue still covers less than half of all existing programs in Europe", adds EuMon Project Coordinator, Dirk Schmeller, UFZ.

In a joint initiative EuMon and EU BON are now looking to create the opportunity for monitoring program coordinators to publish their data by using the data publishing service of the EU BON portal (data embargos also possible).

The service will provide all interested parties with a professional database platform with a large amount of implications. For example, coordinators can receive information about related monitoring programs in different countries. Initiatives could integrate their data and compare the trends and status across different countries and regions. Volunteers can find contacts about schemes in their regions they may consider to join.

Using the data publishing service of EU BON will also facilitate data sharing with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

"The ultimate goal of EU BON is to build a comprehensive European Biodiversity Portal that will then feed into a Global Portal currently developed by GEO BON. This initiative will provide a completely new holistic way for analyzing global trends and processes. We invite projects from across Europe to publish their datasets via the European Biodiversity Portal and become a part of this one-of-a-kind initiative", concludes Dr. Hannu Saarenmaa, University of Eastern Finland and Work Package leader in EU BON.

How to take part:

To access the EuMon database, please visit For sharing information about your monitoring program, please register here. You will then be able to provide metadata about your scheme via a simple online questionnaire. Answering the full set of questions is desirable, but not compulsory.

Posted by Eu Bon

The EU BON workshop "Biodiversity research for and by citizens in Eastern Europe: tools, information services and public engagement" was organized to present the EU BON citizen science gateway, share accomplishments of the project, promote products, raise and discuss challenges of citizen science and facilitate networking between countries, especially eastern and central European countries.

There were 33 participants from Baltic countries and Finland and EU BON partners from Norway, Spain, Israel and Brussels. First day was showcasing the citizen science initiatives in Estonia, following best practice examples from EU BON consortium. During the second day the participants got a chance to learn the tools and methods for citizen science data management by ECSA and EU BON. This was followed by world cafe style discussion about the needs of citizen science initiatives and Pan-European citizen science gateway. One of the important conclusions for Baltic countries is that there is a need for stronger collaboration and supportive infrastructure to make citizen science more effective and also deliver accessible data to research community.

Some workshop participants also took part of Tartu Mini-BioBlitz on 29th June, first BioBlitz in Estonia. BioBlitz participants observed 239 species of animals, plants and fungi .


Workshop agenda

Read a first hand report form the workshop in the two great blog posts by Egle Marija Ramanauskaite (a workshop participant from Lithuania):

Posted by Eu Bon

A new research paper Linking Earth Observation and taxonomic, structural and functional biodiversity: Local to ecosystem perspectives published in the journal Ecological Indicators looks at the ways in which earth observation (EO) techniques may provide a solution to overcome shortcomings in biodiversity monitoring by measuring entities of interest at different spatial and temporal scales. 


Impacts of human civilization on ecosystems threaten global biodiversity. In a changing environment, traditional in situ approaches to biodiversity monitoring have made significant steps forward to quantify and evaluate BD at many scales but still, these methods are limited to comparatively small areas. Earth observation (EO) techniques may provide a solution to overcome this shortcoming by measuring entities of interest at different spatial and temporal scales.

This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the role of EO to detect, describe, explain, predict and assess biodiversity. Here, we focus on three main aspects related to biodiversity taxonomic diversity, functional diversity and structural diversity, which integrate different levels of organization molecular, genetic, individual, species, populations, communities, biomes, ecosystems and landscapes. In particular, we discuss the recording of taxonomic elements of biodiversity through the identification of animal and plant species. We highlight the importance of the spectral traits (ST) and spectral trait variations (STV) concept for EO-based biodiversity research.

Furthermore we provide examples of spectral traits/spectral trait variations used in EO applications for quantifying taxonomic diversity, functional diversity andstructural diversity. We discuss the use of EO to monitor biodiversity and habitat quality using differ-ent remote-sensing techniques. Finally, we suggest specifically important steps for a better integrationof EO in biodiversity research.EO methods represent an affordable, repeatable and comparable method for measuring, describing,explaining and modelling taxonomic, functional and structural diversity. Upcoming sensor developmentswill provide opportunities to quantify spectral traits, currently not detectable with EO, and will surelyhelp to describe biodiversity in more detail. Therefore, new concepts are needed to tightly integrate EOsensor networks with the identification of biodiversity. This will mean taking completely new directionsin the future to link complex, large data, different approaches and models.

Original reseach:

A. Lausch, L. Bannehr, M. Beckmann, C. Boehm, H. Feilhauer, J.M. Hacker, M. Heurich, A. Jung, R. Klenke, C. Neumann, M. Pause, D. Rocchini, M.E. Schaepman, S. Schmidtlein, K. Schulz, P. Selsam, J. Settele, A.K. Skidmore, A.F. Cord, Linking Earth Observation and taxonomic, structural and functional biodiversity: Local to ecosystem perspectives, Ecological Indicators, Volume 70, November 2016, Pages 317-339, ISSN 1470-160X,


Posted by Eu Bon

The newly published by Springer "Aquatic Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Services" volume examines the topic of local biodiversity conservation in the Asia-Pacific region, one of the most rapidly changing areas in the world. With a focus on aquatic systems, this book offers insight on the state of local biodiversity, challenges in management and conservation of biodiversity, and newly developed methods for monitoring biodiversity. In addition, because the service provided by an ecosystem for humans is interlinked with conservation, the final part is dedicated to evaluating the socioeconomic aspect of ecosystem services, with special reference to local biodiversity. In effect, all contributions provide information that is invaluable for effective conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

This work will interest all stakeholders in biodiversity conservation, including policy makers, NPOs, NGOs, environment-related industries, and biodiversity researchers, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also across the entire globe.

More information here.


Posted by Eu Bon

Camera trapping is a powerful and now widely used tool in scientific research on wildlife ecology and management. It provides a unique opportunity for collecting knowledge, investigating the presence of animals, or recording and studying behaviour. Its visual nature makes it easy to successfully convey findings to a wide audience.

The new book provides a much-needed guide to the sound use of camera trapping for the most common ecological applications to wildlife research. Each phase involved in the use of camera trapping is covered:

- Selecting the right camera type 
- Set-up and field deployment of your camera trap 
- Defining the sampling design: presence/absence, species inventory, abundance; occupancy at species level; capture-mark-recapture for density estimation; behavioural studies; community-level analysis 
- Data storage, management and analysis for your research topic, with illustrative examples for using R and Excel 
- Using camera trapping for monitoring, conservation and public engagement.

Each chapter in this edited volume is essential reading for students, scientists, ecologists, educators and professionals involved in wildlife research or management.

Find out more in the promotional video.

About the authors

Francesco Rovero is an ecologist and conservation scientist with a PhD in animal ecology. He is currently the Curator for Tropical Biodiversity at MUSE Science Museum in Trento, Italy. 

Fridolin Zimmermann is a carnivore conservation scientist with a PhD on Eurasian lynx conservation and ecology. He is currently coordinator of the large carnivore monitoring in Switzerland at Carnivore Ecology and Wildlife Management (KORA).

Collectively they have nearly 30 years of professional experience in the use of camera trapping for wildlife research, and have worked on a range of species, habitat and study types.

Posted by Eu Bon

As part of the new 6th Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) UNEP has just released a separate Assessment for the pan-European region. The report provides an overview on the current state, trends and an outlook for the environment, and also highlights environmental factors that contribute to human health and well-being at the regional level.

Biodiversity is of central importance for human well-being and features prominently in the GEO-6 regional assessment. The state of biodiversity and ecosystems continue to give reason for major concerns and call for continued attention and increased efforts. The European Biodiversity Observation Network – EU BON – through its coordinating institution, the Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science contributed significantly to this report. 

Credits: UNEP/UNECE 2016, UNEP-WCMC based on IUCN (2014) data

The assessment for the pan-European region clearly indicates that biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation is continuing in the region. Ongoing biodiversity decline and loss is particularly high in Eastern and Western Europe. Some positive developments and individual success stories offer lessons worth learning, for example developments of protected area networks such as Natura 2000 and the pan-European Emerald Network. However, an important challenge that needs urgent attention is improving availability and open access to comprehensive and integrated biodiversity data to support assessments and analysis, as well as planning and implementation of conservation efforts.

The full report can be found here:

UNEP press release:

For more information please contact:

Dr. Christoph Häuser christoph.hä and Dr. Florian Wetzel 
Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science, Invalidenstrassse 43, 10115 Berlin.

Posted by Eu Bon

A new opinion piece published in the journal Global Change Biology looks at the development of biodiversity scenarios and their inclusion of  future land-use changes.


Efficient management of biodiversity requires a forward-looking approach based on scenarios that explore biodiversity changes under future environmental conditions. A number of ecological models have been proposed over the last decades to develop these biodiversity scenarios. Novel modelling approaches with strong theoretical foundation now offer the possibility to integrate key ecological and evolutionary processes that shape species distribution and community structure. Although biodiversity is affected by multiple threats, most studies addressing the effects of future environmental changes on biodiversity focus on a single threat only. We examined the studies published during the last 25 years that developed scenarios to predict future biodiversity changes based on climate, land-use and landcover change projections. We found that biodiversity scenarios mostly focus on the future impacts of climate change and largely neglect changes in land use and land cover. The emphasis on climate change impacts has increased over time and has now reached a maximum. Yet, the direct destruction and degradation of habitats through land-use and land-cover changes are among the most significant and immediate threats to biodiversity. We argue that the current state of integration between ecological and land system sciences is leading to biased estimation of actual risks and therefore constrains the implementation of forward-looking policy responses to biodiversity decline. We suggest research directions at the crossroads between ecological and environmental sciences to face the challenge of developing interoperable and plausible projections of future environmental changes and to anticipate the full range of theirpotential impacts on biodiversity. An intergovernmental platform is needed to stimulate such collaborative research efforts and to emphasize the societal and political relevance of taking up this challenge.
Original Source: 
Titeux, N., Henle, K., Mihoub, J.-B., Regos, A., Geijzendorffer, I. R., Cramer, W., Verburg, P. H. and Brotons, L. (2016), Biodiversity scenarios neglect future land-use changes. Glob Change Biol, 22: 2505–2515. doi:10.1111/gcb.13272

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The 10th GEO European Projects Workshop took place from 31 May until 2 June 2016 in Berlin, Germany. Representatives from science, business and public administration met in Berlin to discuss how European Earth observation initiatives can contribute to the Global Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS).

The workshop, was jointly organised by the European Commission, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure of Germany, and the Museum für Naturkunde - Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science. A  wide range of events gave projects the opportunity to showcase their work and findings and discuss the future of earth observations. The event also featured a series of world cafés where, in a more informal and relaxed environment, experts could discuss topics focused on different aspects and challenges for biodiversity and ecosystem observation for the next ten years.

Group photo of the participants at the 10th GEO European Projects Workshop; Credit: H. Götz

During the meeting EU BON was presented at a specialized session focusing on the "Challenges for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Observation for the Next Ten Years". EU BON’s co-ordinator Dr. Christoph Häuser alongside project partner and WP2 leader Dr. Hannu Saarenmaa presented the latest project developments and results.

Special attention was paid to presenting and explaining the functionalities of the recently launched beta version of the EU BON European Biodiversity Portal, which aims to provide a substantial part of GEO BON’s Global Portal.



Clockwise from top left: Dr. Christoph Häuser presenting EU BON; Audience of the 10th GEO Projects Workshop; Panel at the Biodiversity and Ecosystem session; Credits: Florian Wetzel, Hwaja Götz and Anke Hoffmann.

For further information see:


General Programme

Find out more resources on the official event webpage.

Posted by Eu Bon

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flag big This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement No 308454.