Towards a global terrestrial species monitoring program

Dirk S Schmeller, Romain Julliard, Peter J Bellingham, Monika Bohm, Neil Brummitt, Alessandro Chiarucci, Denis Couvet, Sarah Elmendorf, David M Forsyth, Jaime Garcia Moreno, Richard D Gregory, William Ernest Magnusson, Laura J Martin, Melodie McGeoch, Jean-Baptiste Mihoub, Henrique Miguel Pereira, Vania Proenca, Chris A M van Swaay, Tetsukazu Yahara, Jayne Belnap

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The Convention on Biological Diversity s strategic plan lays out five goals: (A) address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society; (B) reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use; (C) improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity; (D) enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services; (E) enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity building. To meet and inform on the progress towards these goals, a globally coordinated approach is needed for biodiversity monitoring that is linked to environmental data and covers all biogeographic regions. During a series of workshops and expert discussions, we identified nine requirements that we believe are necessary for developing and implementing such a global terrestrial species monitoring program. The program needs to design and implement an integrated information chain from monitoring to policy reporting, to create and implement minimal data standards and common monitoring protocols to be able to inform Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), and to develop and optimize semantics and ontologies for data interoperability and modelling. In order to achieve this, the program needs to coordinate diverse but complementary local nodes and partnerships. In addition, capacities need to be built for technical tasks, and new monitoring technologies need to be integrated. Finally, a global monitoring program needs to facilitate and secure funding for the collection of long-term data and to detect and fill gaps in under-observed regions and taxa. The accomplishment of these nine requirements is essential in order to ensure data is comprehensive, to develop robust models, and to monitor biodiversity trends over large scales. A global terrestrial species monitoring program will enable researchers and policymakers to better understand the status and trends of biodiversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51 - 57
Number of pages7
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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