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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Biological Conservation, September 2017, Vol.213, pp.252-255
    Description: In 2013, the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) developed the framework of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs), inspired by the Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). The EBV framework was developed to distill the complexity of biodiversity into a manageable list of priorities and to bring a more coordinated approach to observing biodiversity on a global scale. However, efforts to address the scientific challenges associated with this task have been hindered by diverse interpretations of the definition of an EBV. Here, the authors define an EBV as a critical biological variable that characterizes an aspect of biodiversity, functioning as the interface between raw data and indicators. This relationship is clarified through a multi-faceted stock market analogy, drawing from relevant examples of biodiversity indicators that use EBVs, such as the Living Planet Index and the UK Spring Index. Through this analogy, the authors seek to make the EBV concept accessible to a wider audience, especially to non-specialists and those in the policy sector, and to more clearly define the roles of EBVs and their relationship with biodiversity indicators. From this we expect to support advancement towards globally coordinated measurements of biodiversity.
    Keywords: Biodiversity ; Indicator ; Priority Measurement ; Biodiversity Observation Network ; Living Planet Index ; UK Spring Index ; Agriculture ; Biology ; Ecology
    ISSN: 0006-3207
    E-ISSN: 18732917
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  • 2
    In: Journal of Applied Ecology, October 2016, Vol.53(5), pp.1341-1350
    Description: Political commitment and policy instruments to halt biodiversity loss require robust data and a diverse indicator set to monitor and report on biodiversity trends. Gaps in data availability and narrow‐based indicator sets are significant information barriers to fulfilling these needs. In this paper, the reporting requirements of seven global or European biodiversity policy instruments were reviewed using the list of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) as an analytical framework. The reporting requirements for the most comprehensive policy instrument, the United Nation's Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020, were compared with the indicator set actually used for its reporting, to identify current information gaps. To explore the extent to which identified gaps could be bridged, the potential contribution of data mobilization, modelling and further processing of existing data was assessed. The information gaps identified demonstrate that decision‐makers are currently constrained by the lack of data and indicators on changes in the EBV classes Genetic Composition and, to a lesser extent, Species Populations for which data is most often available. Furthermore, the results show that even when there is a requirement for specific information for reporting, the indicators used may not be able to provide all the information, for example current Convention of Biological Diversity indicators provide relatively little information on changes in the Ecosystem Function and Ecosystem Structure classes. This gap could be partly closed by using existing indicators as proxies, whereas additional indicators may be computed based on available data (e.g. for EBVs in the Ecosystem Structure class). However, for the EBV class Genetic Composition, no immediate improvement based on proxies or existing data seems possible. Synthesis and applications. Using Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) as a tool, theory‐driven comparisons could be made between the biodiversity information gaps in reporting and indicator sets. Analytical properties, such as an identification of which data and indicator(s) are relevant per EBV, will need to be addressed before EBVs can actually become operational and facilitate the integration of data flows for monitoring and reporting. In the meantime, a first analysis shows that existing indicators and available data offer considerable potential for bridging the identified information gaps. Using Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) as a tool, theory‐driven comparisons could be made between the biodiversity information gaps in reporting and indicator sets. Analytical properties, such as an identification of which data and indicator(s) are relevant per , will need to be addressed before s can actually become operational and facilitate the integration of data flows for monitoring and reporting. In the meantime, a first analysis shows that existing indicators and available data offer considerable potential for bridging the identified information gaps.
    Keywords: Biodiversity Data ; Biodiversity Indicator Partnership ; Convention On Biological Diversity ; Data Mobilization ; Data Sources ; Indicators ; Instrument ; Monitoring ; Policy ; Reporting
    ISSN: 0021-8901
    E-ISSN: 1365-2664
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