GEO BON and the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) resumed its in-person meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, in March 2022. GEO BON had a mixed delegation, online and on-site, and participated as observer to the concurrent meetings OEWG 3, SBSTTA 24 and SBI 3. Together with bioDISCOVERY (Future Earth) and the CBD Secretariat, GEO BON organized a side-event focused on the actions needed for achieving the global biodiversity goals which are currently under negotiation by Parties to the CBD. The information presented was produced as an information document (CBD/SBSTTA/24/INF/31) ahead of the Geneva meetings. Since March, the large body of information has been distilled and published as commentary in One Earth.


Read more here.

New BONs Endorsed

GEO BON endorses two new Biodiversity Observation Networks:


The mission of EuropaBON is to overcome existing data gaps and workflow bottlenecks by designing an EU-wide framework for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem services. EuropaBON aims to engage users at the regional and national levels to identify the data needs of policies and targets aligned with the new European Green Deal.

Read more here.


Omic BON is the first thematic BON focused on an observational technique, underscoring the transformative power of omic technologies. Omic BON will build a meta-observatory by coordinating observation across its members, aligning and promoting the integration of strategies, methods, and data flows. This will be instrumental in transforming omic observations into actionable knowledge at a global scale.

Read more here.

We have proposed that global assessments, such as by the IPCC and IPBES, should be annual to reflect the urgency of the climate and biodiversity crises respectively. We use the response to the pandemic as an example of the necessity of timely availability of data to inform policy makers and gain public support. We note the time-lag (plus taxonomic bias and geographic gaps) of biodiversity (but not climate) data being published online is too long for providing information to policy makers.


Read more here.


Mark Costello

Nord University

GEO BON Genetic Composition Working Group leads and members co-authored a publication assessing Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), which are metrics to help aggregate, integrate, and interpret biodiversity observation data from diverse sources for within-species genetic diversity. Genetic composition is the foundation for biodiversity and is a critical component of ecosystem resilience and function, sustainable economies, and human health. The GEO BON developed EBVs measure an essential aspect of biodiversity at a higher order than direct observations (e.g., species occurrences), providing a bridge between biodiversity monitoring and decision makers. This paper proposes standardized within-species Genetic EBVs that can be used to assess changes over space and time and assesses the feasibility of implementation to advance global conservation of biodiversity.


Read the paper here.


Maggie Hunter
USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center

The conclusion of an initial policy report by the Europe-wide project Europa Biodiversity Observation Network (EuropaBON) showed that national biodiversity monitoring programs in Europe face many challenges: too little coordination, inadequate technical and financial resources, and unclear targets. The analysis includes data from more than 350 experts in policy, science, and environmental protection. The team is also drafting a proposal for the transnational monitoring of Europe’s biodiversity and ecosystems. Read the report that analyzes the different available biodiversity data streams at the EU and national levels, both baseline biodiversity data and monitoring data.

Read more here.


Hannah Moersberger


This work explored the effect of fires in soil prokaryote communities in Mediterranean Sclerophyll Forest. Legacy of land burning was still clearly shaping soil prokaryote community structure, 17 months and the other 33 months after fire occurrence, as shown by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and Illumina MiSeq sequencing of the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene, particularly in the most recent fire-affected site. These findings gave insights on soil prokaryote communities in Mediterranean forests of central Chile, and conditions that likely influence the ecological processes during recovery of fire-affected ecosystems. Stay tuned, more to come on diazotrophic and fungal communities!

Read more here.


Claudia Rojas Alvarado

Universidad de O'Higgins

Exploring the microbial biodiversity of Cuban soils

Cuba, the largest of the islands in the Caribbean Sea, has a high rate of endemism and plant biodiversity, as well as a great heterogeneity of soil types. However, their microbial biodiversity had not been studied. In this sense, we have chosen five areas corresponding to three types of soils with little anthropic disturbance in the West and Center of the country in order to quantify their microbial biomass, the populations of taxonomic groups (heterotrophic bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes) and functional (phosphorus solubilizers, potassium solubilizers, nitrogen fixers, cellulitic, proteolytic and amylolytic) and indices associated with their ecophysiology (metabolic quotient and microbial quotient), finding differences between the various types of soil and also being able to determine the horizontal and vertical spatial variability. We have also sampled adjacent areas under agricultural management in typical systems of each region (corn/bean rotation, tobacco, sugar cane and pasture), being able to quantify the impact of agricultural management on these microbial communities.


Sol Santander Mendoza, Luis Gómez Jorrín

Instituto de Suelos, Cuba

To help combine concepts of nature’s contribution to people and human wellbeing in New Zealand, a partnership between Crown Research Institute Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research and central government agencies (the Ministry for the Environment, and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor) was initiated in 2019. The project proposes a process to prioritise and identify indicators representing relationships between contributions of nature to specific aspects of wellbeing. The aim is to enable greater visibility of the full range of benefits provided by nature and recommend how we can monitor these contributions.

Read more about this here, this publication and this technical report.


Anne-Gaelle Ausseil

New Zealand Ministry for the Environment

Species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used to estimate species’ distributions; however, there are drawbacks when data are sparse, with implications for rare and threatened species. Expert knowledge—which we define broadly to include understanding of species’ habitat use, dispersal barriers, biotic interactions, and other factors that limit their distributions—is a mostly untapped resource for post‐ processing statistically modeled range predictions to increase spatial and temporal accuracy. We formalize a framework to incorporate expert knowledge to reproducibly generate species’ realized distribution estimates. Additionally, we operationalize a workflow with a new R package, maskRangeR. maskRangeR facilitates improved transparency and reproducibility of integrating diverse expert knowledge into refined estimates of species’ ranges at high spatial and temporal resolutions to better describe geographic distributions for poorly sampled species, estimate biodiversity, and inform conservation decisions. This work was supported through the NASA GEO BON Work Program Grant No. 80NSSC18K0406.

Read more here.


Mary Blair

Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History

Our new publication in Scientific Data presents two reproducible and open indexes which track progress towards target 2 in the draft monitoring framework of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The indexes measure the proportion of six important coastal and marine habitats within protected and conserved areas at multiple scales. We found that mangroves, coral reefs, and saltmarshes have more than 40% of their mapped extent within protected or conserved areas. Areas beyond national jurisdiction and the habitats within it though, lack protection! These indexes bring to the forefront the importance and status of conserving essential marine and coastal habitats.

Read more here.


Joy A. Kumagai

Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center

New GMBA inventory of the world’s mountains for global comparative mountain science: released and available for unrestricted download and use! This new release available on EarthEnv and accompanied by a publication in Scientific Data, introduces a hierarchical classification of the >8600 inventoried mountain ranges of the world, which allows for the partitioning of mountain systems into smaller ranges and subranges and enables spatially explicit and comparative mountain research across scales. The clearly defined, globally consistent and hierarchical nature of this new inventory offers a standardized resource for referencing and addressing mountains across science, policy, communication, and education.

Read more here.


Davnah Urbach

Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment

An estimation of where forest fragmentation is likely to occur is critically important for improving the integrity of the forest landscape. We prepare a forest fragmentation susceptibility map for the first time by developing an integrated model and identifying its causative factors in the forest landscape. Our proposed model is based upon the synergistic use of the earth observation data, forest fragmentation approach, patch forests, causative factors, and the WOE method in a GIS platform. This study identifies Himalayan moist temperate and pine forests as being likely to be most affected by forest fragmentation in the future.

Read the paper here.


Amit Batar

International Long-Term Ecological Research Network (ILTER)


02–09 July 2022 – IPBES 9 and Stakeholder Day
11–15 September 2022 – International Mountain Conference
03–07 October 2022 – Marine Imaging Workshop
17–21 October 2022 – TDWG 2022
31–04 November 2022 – GEO Week
07–18 November 2022 – UNFCCC COP 27
05–17 December 2022 – UNCBD COP15


Check our website for updates.


PhD Position - Deakin University:

Exploring Belowground Function During Coastal Wetland Restoration. The topic of interest could include (but not limited to) biogeochemistry, microbiology, plant roots, or all of the above. Master or honours in similar field required.

Contract: 3 years
Deadline: Until the position is filled
Details: here

Leadley, P., Gonzalez, A., Obura, D., et al. (2022) Achieving global biodiversity goals by 2050 requires urgent and integrated actions. One Earth 5: 597-603


For more publications please check our website.



Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network


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