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GEO BON Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observing Network RJ (Bob) Scholes Chair, GEO BON CSIR Natural Resources and Environment PO Box 395, Pretoria.

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Presentation on theme: "GEO BON Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observing Network RJ (Bob) Scholes Chair, GEO BON CSIR Natural Resources and Environment PO Box 395, Pretoria."— Presentation transcript:

1 GEO BON Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observing Network RJ (Bob) Scholes Chair, GEO BON CSIR Natural Resources and Environment PO Box 395, Pretoria 0001, South Africa IGOS-GEO Symposium, Washington DC 19 November 2009

2 The mission, paraphrased What forms of biodiversity are changing Where, and Why; and with what consequences?

3 Where are we at? Stakeholder endorsement received - Users: CBD, IPBES, IUCN, National nature protection agencies - Providers: Biodiversity NGOs, GBIF, Space Agencies Founding documents (Concept and Implementation Plan) accepted A network has been formed, committee and task groups appointed Detailed design in progress Work underway on early products

4 GEO BON Early Products: Example 1 Protected Areas Monitoring Pilot Species from GBIF PA boundary From WCMC

5 Early products Example 2 Continuous Plankton Recorder

6 Scholes, RJ et al 2008 Towards a global biodiversity observation system. Science 321, Various ITIS Catalog of Life GBIFGenBank BOLD GBIF WWF- Living Planet IUCN Red list GOFC/GOLD GEOSS WCMC GEOSS Space agencies

7 Some missing pieces A global database of interaction observations - Food webs (who eats who?) - Pollinators - Hosts and pathogens/parasites - Symbionts, mutualists A community/plot/site database - Species that co-occur Relative or absolute abundances - Community attributes Functional type profile (broadleaf, needleleaf, grass…) Structure (Height, crown cover, biomass, leaf area…) Function (NPP, albedo, bulk conductance…) Uses of biodiversity (societal benefits) - Nature of use (food, fibre, medicinal, cultural…) - Use intensity - Value

8 Making the links Gene sequences Organisms (indexed by species) Ecosystems Persistent identifier Non-biodiversity data Spatial location InteractionsFunctional types Abundances (indexed by popn, polygon and time) species

9 Simplicity in complexity: A biodiversity syntax [optional] (quality control) Nouns: What, where, when,[how many],(by who),(how) - Ecosystem extent - Species presence/absence/abundance record - Genetic record Adjectives: A is a member of B (says who) (when) - Nested taxonomies - Cladistics - Functional types - Communities Verbs: A performs action C on B [intensity] (where)(when)(by who) - Food webs - Non-tropic interactions - Ecosystem service flows Hypothesis: there are just three basic types of record

10 A natural succession in biodiversity information 1. Presence/absence 2. Abundance 1. Confidence intervals 2. Time series 3. Known individuals 3. Genetic relatedness, phylogenetics 4. Species interactions Simple Complex

11 Dealing with institutional diversity and complexity Observers/data holders Brokers/intermediaries Users Countries & Organisations TDWG GBIF GenBank GxOS GEOSS WCMC Encyc of Life Nations Space agencies Local biodiv NGOs National/ local Inter- national / global public GEO BON researchers International bodies International Environment NGOs

12 Information divergence versus convergence Reduce rate of biodiversity loss Rate of lossSustainable useThreats Ecosystems Integrity Traditional knowledge Benefit sharing Financial resources Indicators Goals Subtargets 2010 target

13 Example of an integrated indicator Biodiversity Intactness % Species richness (R) Change in abundance (I) Land cover/use (A)Ecosystem type Scholes, RJ and R Biggs (2005) A biodiversity intactness index Nature 434, 45-9

14 Some thoughts on the post-2010 targets A positive vision - Perhaps based on avoidance of critical thresholds - eg Increasing natural capital, sufficient supply of key services - Stay within adaptive limits Based on the possible and desired, rather than the readily available Small set that is socially relevant and specific - Health, food and other ecosystem services, hazard avoidance - Key ecosystems: eg Amazon, Great Barrier Reef etc - Central tendency and limits at ecosystem, species and gene levels Gene level Phyllogenetic richness The genetic foundation of the global food basket Species level Broad-based abundance (population trends in several thousand representative species) Risk of extinction (eg red list index) Ecosystem level Natural capital (the capacity to deliver ecosystem services) Effective extent of critical ecosystems

15 Achieving the power of integration within GEOSS Biodiversity BI-07-01b Invasive Species Monitoring System BI-07-01c Capturing Historical and New Biodiversity Information Ecosystems EC-09-01a: Ecosystem Classification and Mapping EC-09-01b: Ecosystem Status and Trends EC-09-01c: Regional Networks for Ecosystems EC-09-01d: Protected Areas Assessment and Monitoring EC-09-02a: Impact of Tourism on Environmental and Socio-Economic Activities EC-09-02b: Impact of Transport Infrastructure Development EC-09-02c: Vulnerability of Sea Basins EC-09-02d: Vulnerability of Mountain Regions Agriculture AG-06-02: Data Utilization in Fisheries and Aquaculture Disturbances DI-09-03b: Implementation of a Fire Warning System at Global Level Health HE-09-03c: Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Health EN-07-02: Energy Environmental Impact Monitoring CL-09-01a: Enhanced Climate, Weather, Water and Environmental Prediction CL-09-01b: Climate Information for Decision-making and Adaptation

16 What is going on in 2010 Early Products throughout 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity GEO BON all working group meeting, Asilomar, USA Feb 2010 The run-up to the CBD - Preparatory science conference, Nagoya, Japan March Inputs to CBD SBSTTA, Nairobi,May World Biodiversity Day, 20 May UN General Assembly special session on Biodiversity, September CoP in October 2010


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