Combining forces, two large scale EU projects, EuMon and EU BON, are set to compile the largest data collection on biodiversity monitoring activities in Europe to date. Using existing biodiversity data and metadata collected by the two projects, the initiative is a stepping stone in completing a comprehensive European Biodiversity Portal. The projects now call out to monitoring programs across the Old Continent and beyond, to join in, provide information about their schemes and share their expertise for the cause.
For its life span between 2004 and 2008 the project EU-wide monitoring methods and systems of surveillance for species and habitats of Community interest (EuMon) created Europe's most comprehensive metadata catalogue of biodiversity monitoring activities.
Started in 2012, the five-year project Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON) has been working towards building a new European Biodiversity Portal where this information is collected, highlighted and widely shared for future research and applied biodiversity conservation. The beta version is now all set up and available to test here.
To answer knowledge gaps since the project has ended in 2008, the original EuMon monitoring meta database is being further expanded with new information on data availability and access, as well as with new remote sensing data. Previously underrepresented, the marine realm is now also included in the EuMon collection.
"Monitoring data has received a central stage in recent years, a process largely facilitated by the instalment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). However, while knowledge about monitoring efforts is important, we still miss a large variety of available programs and biodiversity data", explains EuMon's Project Leader Prof. Dr. Klaus Henle, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ.
"We, therefore, currently aim to increase and update the number of monitoring programs in the EuMon catalogue, as the catalogue still covers less than half of all existing programs in Europe", adds EuMon Project Coordinator, Dirk Schmeller, UFZ.
In a joint initiative EuMon and EU BON are now looking to create the opportunity for monitoring program coordinators to publish their data by using the data publishing service of the EU BON portal (data embargos also possible).
The service will provide all interested parties with a professional database platform with a large amount of implications. For example, coordinators can receive information about related monitoring programs in different countries. Initiatives could integrate their data and compare the trends and status across different countries and regions. Volunteers can find contacts about schemes in their regions they may consider to join.
Using the data publishing service of EU BON will also facilitate data sharing with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
"The ultimate goal of EU BON is to build a comprehensive European Biodiversity Portal that will then feed into a Global Portal currently developed by GEO BON. This initiative will provide a completely new holistic way for analyzing global trends and processes. We invite projects from across Europe to publish their datasets via the European Biodiversity Portal and become a part of this one-of-a-kind initiative", concludes Dr. Hannu Saarenmaa, University of Eastern Finland and Work Package leader in EU BON.
How to take part:
To access the EuMon database, please visit http://eumon.ckff.si/biomat. For sharing information about your monitoring program, please register here. You will then be able to provide metadata about your scheme via a simple online questionnaire. Answering the full set of questions is desirable, but not compulsory.
You will find further information about the EuMon project and the databases that is created at http://eumon.ckff.si/index1.php
To learn more about EU BON, its tasks and work so far, and the Biodiversity Data Portal, please visit http://eubon.eu
Dr. Klaus Henle
Dr. Dirk Schmeller
Dr. Hannu Saarenmaa