INSPIRE Knowledge Base


Group of Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network-European Biodiversity Observation Network
Mission and Objectives: 
The Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network – GEO BON – is the biodiversity arm of the Global Earth Observation System of System of Systems (GEOSS). EBONE is the European contribution to GEO BON. The objective of GEO BON and EBONE are to develop and implement a biodiversity observation network that is spatially and topically prioritized and a structure for an institutional framework allowing European and world wide monitoring and projections on trends based on reliable data and indicators. This objective has for Europe been elaborated in the following working objectives: 1)To design a biodiversity observation hierarchy based predominantly on existing capability 2)To apply techniques developed in other projects and develop additional techniques for upscaling between site, networks of sites, habitats and remotely sensed data in order to optimise the power of the observation network for detecting and interpreting changes in key biodiversity indicators and their link to ecosystems. 3)To validate the observation hierarchy using data from existing monitoring programmes and projects, supplemented where necessary by new data 4)To recommend refinements to the observation system in terms of the location and distribution of sites and to identify measurements and protocols to validate techniques in a sub-set of sites 5)To make recommendations for the implementation of the system in Europe based on existing structures and institutional mechanisms and to ensure transmissibility. 6)To incorporate the measurements and data structures into existing data management systems as developed in the context of Alternet, Lifewatch and the GEOSS data sharing registry. 7)To develop and test the system in collaboration with observatories in Mediterranean regions outside Europe to ensure that the system is compatible with developing world requirements.
Formal Mandate: 
Some 100 governmental and non-governmental organizations are collaborating through GEO BON to make their biodiversity data, information and forecasts more readily accessible to policymakers, managers, experts and other users. GEO BON has been recognized by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as by the member governments of the Group on Earth Observations. The Biodiversity Observation Network is both a Community of Practice and a Task in the GEO Work Plan. It is a voluntary, best-efforts partnership that is guided by a steering committee. The Network draws on GEO’s work on data-sharing principles and on technical standards for making data interoperable. GEO is lead by three coleads: Diversitas International, NASA and EBONE (for the EC). The contributors to GEO BON consist mostly of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and national governmental institutions. These contributors collaborate with one another on a voluntary basis to advance the development and dissemination of observations, data, information, analyses and decision-support services on biodiversity.
GEO BON and EBONE focus on observational time series, using and integrating both in situ and remote observation systems to support biodiversity and ecosystem change studies. It is also identifying gaps in existing observation systems and promote mechanisms to fill them. Biodiversity is viewed at three scales: genetic, species, and ecosystem, with terrestrial, freshwater, coastal, and open ocean components of biodiversity all being considered. The presence, abundance and condition of elements of biodiversity at all of these levels are of particular interest. The GEO BON Steering Committee consists of about 25 members from organizations focused on a range of topics and habitats, having a diversity of expertise, and with broad geographical coverage. It provides high-level guidance to facilitate development of the GEO BON concepts and their implementation through a biodiversity community of practice, as well as to coordinate with GEO and GEOSS. The overall approach is to coordinate the development of a network of networks—including both social as well as physical and electronic networks—so as to build upon the many existing biodiversity observation efforts. A key mechanism for doing this is the eight Topical Working Groups that formed in 2009 to transform the concepts to specific activities, or existing functions, that lead to implementation of those concepts. Central to this approach is the engagement of existing regional and thematic BONs and partners, and alignment with activities or functions that these BONs and partners are already doing or planning. Consistent with the approach to building GEOSS, most of the resources required to implement GEO BON are in kind. It is critical that these implementing groups benefit from association with GEO BON and that the activities or functions align with their mission. Lacking such benefits and alignments, it will likely be impossible for an organizations to participate. Key Deliverables: • Global biodiversity community of practice, to facilitate communication, coordination, efficiency, and planning • New products and services, in particular those that integrate existing products or services, such as linking population changes to the drivers of those changes • Increased coordination of biodiversity observation gathering, enhancing standardization, filling in gaps, and eliminating overlaps • Community format and data standards to enable greater integration across independent systems
Participating organisations are among others: DIVERSITAS International as a partnership of inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations formed to promote, facilitate and catalyse scientific research on biodiversity – its origin, composition, ecosystem function, maintenance and conservation. The European Biodiversity Observation NEtwork (EBONE) intends to be the basis of a cost effective data collection system for biodiversity including extant data, both past and present, at national, regional and European levels. It is a crucial European contribution to the work of GEO BON. The Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), a global network of data providers that builds biodiversity information infrastructure and promotes the growth of biodiversity information content on the Internet by working with partner initiatives and coordinating activities worldwide. International Long Term Ecological Research Sites Network (ILTER) consisting of networks of scientists engaged in long-term, site-based ecological and socioeconomic research with the mission to improve understanding of global ecosystems and inform solutions to current and future environmental problems. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that sponsors and collects new observations from space, develops technologies, and extends science and technology education to learners of all ages. The United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) The US Geological Service (USGS) The Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS) as an international charity that operates the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey. The Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), a leading research institute in The Netherlands for the marine sciences. The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) that is an intergovernmental, regional centre of excellence that facilitates cooperation among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) and its global network of regional and thematic OBIS nodes integrates data from many sources over a wide range of marine themes, from the poles to the equator, and from microbes to whales.

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • allocate experts to Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • contribute to cost/benefit analysis of the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • implement pilot projects to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • collect and describe user requirements related to Environmental policies
  • yes
  • register a project to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    Societal Sector
    applied research and government agencies
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    Experiences of GEO BON-EBONE are wide, varying from setting up the BioHab European databases for habitats by using life forms, SynBioSys, European plant naming system, statistical stratifications for biodiversity monitoring, realising a European biodiversity database in conformity with INSPIRE standards and with consistent ontology.
    Environmental application domains
    biodiversity monitoring, environmental stratification
    Primary Business
    biodiversity monitoring research