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Networking to protect species “Eye on Earth” and “GEOBON”

Networking to protect species “Eye on Earth” and “GEOBON”

Policy makers and scientists discussed how two biodiversity networks can together better protect endangered species at the Eye on Earth User Conference in Dublin in March 2013. To identify where biodiversity is under threat we need data in a standard format. But biodiversity data does not in itself protect biodiversity – action is needed to address the threats. Effective action requires a network. Two global biodiversity information networks are the Eye on Earth (EonE) and Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

An “Eye on Earth Alliance” was formed during the recent Eye on Earth Conference with its aim to:

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converge on the areas of mutual importance,

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collaborate with initiatives, and

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convene the worldwide community at the Eye on Earth Summit in Abu Dhabi.

The Eye on Earth Alliance has 8 special initiatives (SI) being the biodiversity SI as well as the education and development SI. The European Environment Agency is developing a ‘global public information network’ for creating and sharing information. During the conference, citizen science as implemented by the EEA was an especially interesting highlight. There are huge amounts of biodiversity data globally but these data are difficult to access because of incompatible formats. Data needs to be structured and tools developed to make it easy for researchers to discover data and publish results. The Eye on Earth Alliance is placing itself at the ‘downstream’ end of the biodiversity data flow with a focus on convening a broad community and disseminating information.

This is where the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) input is relevant to the Eye on Earth Alliance. GEOSS provides the ‘upstream’ biodiversity data and tools. Within GEOSS, GEOBON is a substantial network of biodiversity experts working on developing tools and organizing data for biodiversity reporting. The Eye on Earth Alliance is an opportunity for these two important biodiversity networks to harmonize and align their activities.

For more information contact Professor Andrew Skidmore: a.k.skidmore@utwente.nl


  • ITC
  • Lunds Universitet