The latest EU BON publication in the open access journal Nature Conservation is now a fact. The article titled "Improved access to integrated biodiversity data for science, practice, and policy - the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON)" provides an overview of the project's background, research interests and vision for the future.
Biodiversity is threatened on a global scale and the losses are ongoing. In order to stop further losses and maintain important ecosystem services, programmes have been put into place to reduce and ideally halt these processes. A whole suite of different approaches is needed to meet these goals. One major scientific contribution is to collate, integrate and analyse the large amounts of fragmented and diverse biodiversity data to determine the current status and trends of biodiversity in order to inform the relevant decision makers. To contribute towards the achievement of these challenging tasks, the project EU BON was developed. The project is focusing mainly on the European continent but contributes at the same time to a much wider global initiative, the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), which itself is a part of the Group of Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). EU BON will build on existing infrastructures such as GBIF, LifeWatch and national biodiversity data centres in Europe and will integrate relevant biodiversity data from on-ground observations to remote sensing information, covering terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats.
A key feature of EU BON will be the delivery of relevant, fully integrated data to multiple and different stakeholders and end users ranging from local to global levels. Through development and application of new standards and protocols, EU BON will enable greater interoperability of different data layers and systems, provide access to improved analytical tools and services, and will provide better harmonised biodiversity recording and monitoring schemes from citizen science efforts to long-term research programs to mainstream future data collecting. Furthermore EU BON will support biodiversity science-policy interfaces, facilitate political decisions for sound environmental management, and help to conserve biodiversity for human well-being at different levels, ranging from communal park management to the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Additionally, the project will strengthen European capacities and infrastructures for environmental information management and sustainable development. The following paper outlines the framework and the approach that are pursued.
Hoffmann A, Penner J, Vohland K, Cramer W, Doubleday R, Henle K, Kõljalg U, Kühn I, Kunin WE, Negro JJ, Penev L, Rodríguez C, Saarenmaa H, Schmeller DS, Stoev P, Sutherland WJ, Tuama1 EO, Wetzel F, Häuser CL (2014) Improved access to integrated biodiversity data for science, practice, and policy - the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON). Nature Conservation 6: 49–65. doi: 10.3897/natureconservation.6.6498