The official Kickoff meeting of the Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON) project, organized by the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, took place on 13-15 February 2013 to formally mark the beginning of the project and to set goals and objectives for the future. Among the hottest issues discussed was the integration of EU BON's framework with the Global Earth Biodiversity Observation Network project GEO BON and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Another intention set for the future is the enhanced communication and synchronization between the various partners and work packages.
The main objective set for EU BON is to facilitate with its contributions, and thus build a substantial part of GEO BON. EU BON Advisory Board, comprising ten leading experts in data management, biodiversity conservation and earth observation realms has been set up. Dr. Wouter Los - Chairman of the Expert centre for Taxonomic Identification (ETI), and 2nd Vice Chair of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility Governing Board (GBIF) was elected as a chair of the EU BON Advisory Board. It has been decided, with the directions and help of the EU BON's Advisory Board, to achieve that a substantial amount of work should be done towards a more comprehensive vision of the relationship between the two projects and the place EU BON takes as a major contributor.
Another aim delineated is working towards collaboration between the currently fragmented biodiversity data sources in Europe in an attempt to create an integrated network and framework for the benefit of the project objective itself, and GEO BON eventually. Dialogue and association with similar or relevant biodiversity projects and initiatives, on European and Global levels, are also encouraged. Organizing a conference is on the project's to do list.
Enhanced communication between the different partners and work packages has been outlined as the engine for achieving of the projects main objectives. A second official meeting has been already assigned for 2014 to measure the progress of EU BON and to set further goals. Meanwhile partners are already organizing workshops to work towards reflecting the directions for development currently set.
EU BON (2012) stands for "Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network" and is an European research project, financed by the 7th EU framework programme for research and development (FP7). EU BON seeks ways to better integrate biodiversity information and implement into policy and decision-making of biodiversity monitoring and management in the EU.
GEO BON stands for "Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network". It coordinates activities relating to the Societal Benefit Area (SBA) on Biodiversity of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Some 100 governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations are collaborating through GEO BON to organise and improve terrestrial, freshwater and marine biodiversity observations globally and make their biodiversity data, information and forecasts more readily accessible to policymakers, managers, experts and other users. Moreover, GEO BON has been recognized by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. More information at: http://www.earthobservations.org/geobon.shtml.
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