Leading agencies and organizations collaborate to provide
better biodiversity data and observations to policymakers
Press briefing in Room 2 on Wednesday, 28 March, at 12h45
London, March 2012 – Recognizing the critical need to improve biodiversity monitoring, dozens of
government agencies and leading scientific and conservation organizations are joining forces
through the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network, or GEO BON.
Policymakers need reliable scientific information to craft programs for conserving and managing
the planet’s biological resources and to monitor the effectiveness of these efforts. However, data
on biodiversity are often dispersed, uncoordinated and incomplete. GEO BON is committed to
upgrading these data, interlinking and expanding monitoring systems and databases, and helping
decision makers and managers to access the information they need.
“The next decade or two will be critical for the biosphere,” said Bob Scholes of South Africa’s
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Chair of the GEO BON Steering
Committee. “Strengthening and coordinating the international community’s capabilities for
monitoring and studying biodiversity is therefore an urgent priority. The best way to achieve this
quickly and cost effectively is through collaboration and the sharing of resources and information.”
GEO BON is supporting key global initiatives such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
(IPBES). For example, GEO BON recently submitted an “Assessment of the Adequacy of Existing
Observation Capabilities for the CBD 2020 Targets”1 to the Convention’s Subsidiary Body on
Technical, Technological and Scientific Advice
Prepared at the CBD’s request, the report constitutes the first attempt to assess the adequacy of
global observation systems for the monitoring of biodiversity, specifically in relation to the
information needs of the 20 ‘Aichi targets’ defined by the Convention for the period 2011–2020. It
was written in collaboration with a range of biodiversity-related organizations and based on inputs
from over 120 specialists.
For more information: The GEO BON parallel session on “How international collaboration can
strengthen biodiversity monitoring” will take place in Room 10 on Tuesday at 10:30. Please visit
www.earthobservations.org/geobon.shtml. The GEO BON team can be reached in London at +41-
79 257-8319 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Footnote 1 www.earthobservations.org/documents/cop/bi_geobon/2011_cbd_adequacy_report.pdf
The research discussed in the press release, the conclusions drawn and the opinions offered are those of
individual speakers or research teams at the Planet Under Pressure conference.