How to streamline biodiversity monitoring processes in Europe?

11 April 2023

EuropaBON project just published a policy brief on the future of biodiversity in Europe. The policy brief acknowledges the fragmented and inconsistent nature of monitoring of species across different European countries and offers five viable solutions to this challenge.  

EuropaBON is a collaborative research action, which, together with stakeholders works to identify user and policy needs for biodiversity monitoring and investigate the feasibility of establishing a coordination hub for monitoring activities across Europe. Through the EuropaBON partnership and its progressive developments, the aim is to provide practical knowledge that will improve sustainable natural resource management and guide decision-making in the region beyond the project’s duration. 

EuropaBON’s policy brief is of great interest to MAMBO as both projects aim to improve the processes behind biodiversity monitoring and contribute to a more streamlined approach to it in Europe. Moreover, the policy brief is a valuable stepping stone in MAMBO’s work programme as our project will utilise the findings of the project in its further research. 

The five solutions to the fragmentation of biodiversity monitoring that the EuropaBON policy brief identifies are: 

  • The use of standardised protocols based on clearly defined priorities alongside the alignment of reporting requirements with specific indicators. 

  • Combining Essential Biodiversity and Essential Ecosystem Services Variables (EBVs and EESVs) with dedicated data sharing and exchange mechanisms that adhere to open and FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) principles so as to increase data standardisation.

  • Integrate modern monitoring tools with traditional approaches. 

  • Facilitate a consistent and long-term flow of financial resources for monitoring efforts alongside better coordination across countries and sectors. 

  • Provide capacity-building trainings and platforms to facilitate knowledge exchange and uptake of new effective approaches. 

Fig. 1. Solutions identified by stakeholders to biodiversity data challenges – Building of a European Biodiversity Observation Network, EuropaBON (adapted from Moersberger, Martin, Junker et al. 2022).

EuropaBON’s policy brief further advises for the creation of a European Biodiversity Monitoring Coordination Centre so as to oversee the successful implementation of lasting improvements in biodiversity monitoring. 

Furthermore, the brief identifies the potential of new technologies in the realm of artificial intelligence, 24/7 automatic monitoring, biologgers, remote sensing as well as the importance of citizen science. MAMBO’s work programme is based on the development of artificial intelligence tools for biodiversity monitoring and similarly, has a strong citizen science component. 

Read EuropaBON’s policy brief

Visit EuropaBON’s website