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GEO BON to monitor and study global biosphere

Geneva, Switzerland: The Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) released its detailed, 175-page implementation plan for a coordinated global campaign to gather and share information on biodiversity, provide tools for data integration and analysis, and contribute to improved environmental management and human well-being.

Many government agencies and leading scientific and conservation organisations are collaborating through GEO BON. They include the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), DIVERSITAS, the European Union’s EBONE project, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the UN Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and many others.

Policymakers need reliable scientific information in order to craft programmes for managing the planet’s biological resources and to monitor the effectiveness of these efforts. However, data on the status of, and trends in, biodiversity are often dispersed, uncoordinated and incomplete. GEO BON is committed to upgrading these data, interlinking and expanding monitoring systems and data bases, and helping decision makers and managers to access the information they need.

“By working together and coordinating our strategies, we can improve our ability to track and understand biodiversity trends,” said Bob Scholes of South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Chair of GEO BON’s Steering Committee. “We can also better monitor our progress on implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity and achieving the 2010 targets for reducing biodiversity loss and any future targets that governments may adopt.”

The complete and updated GEO BON Implementation Plan, which has been developed through broad and intensive consultations, is being launched to mark the International Day for Biodiversity (Saturday, 22 May). It has been posted on the GEO BON web site at www.earthobservations.org/geobon.shmtl and will be presented at the Group on Earth Observations Ministerial Summit to be held in Beijing on 5 November, 2010.

Source: GEO BON