A global audit of biodiversity monitoring

There is a growing demand for data to track the changing state of biodiversity, such as trends in species’ populations. This project will undertake a global audit of biodiversity monitoring, identifying the major taxonomic, geographic and temporal gaps in coverage, and suggest ways to close them. The work will help to improve the monitoring of threatened species and Key Biodiversity Areas, and will feed into work undertaken as part of agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Project Aims

We will undertake a global audit of biodiversity monitoring, identifying the major taxonomic, geographic and temporal gaps in coverage, and suggest ways to close them. Our work will help to improve the monitoring of threatened species and Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) around the world, and support several Multilateral Environmental Agreements, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Key Activities

This project will use the proposers’ extensive global networks of partner organisations and collaborators to undertake the first global audit of biodiversity monitoring, by:

  • identifying where the main gaps in biodiversity monitoring lie, both spatially and taxonomically, and assessing how they could most effectively and efficiently be filled
  • compiling an inventory of the methods used in biodiversity monitoring across different taxa, to guide future schemes and promote standardisation of methods
  • linking data collectors with data users, by bringing information on monitoring schemes to the attention of a wider range of end users

Conservation Impact

  • Better understanding of the distribution and methods of biodiversity monitoring globally.
  • Increased volumes of biodiversity monitoring data available for decision makers (in e.g. governments, NGOs, donors), especially for conservation project reporting, MEA progress assessment and KBA monitoring.
  • Improved awareness and uptake of simple, affordable and replicable methods and databases for enhancing biodiversity monitoring.
  • A significant contribution to the work of the IUCN Species Monitoring Specialist Group

Outputs

One or more scientific papers presenting the results of the project, which will include:

  • A quantitative assessment of the global extent and coverage of biodiversity monitoring
  • A quantitative summary of the methodologies being used to monitor each major taxon group
  • An analysis of where the major gaps (temporal, taxonomic and geographic) exist in current monitoring

A freely available database of global monitoring schemes.

CCI partners Involved

The Department of Zoology carries out wide-ranging work in ecology and conservation including conservation science, aquatic ecology, pathogen evolution and evolutionary ecology. Research of the...
The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is the specialist biodiversity assessment arm of the United Nations Environment Programme, the world’s foremost intergovernmental...
IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is the world's oldest and largest global environmental network. It helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment...
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. It is the largest wildlife conservation organisation in...
BirdLife International is a strategic global partnership of conservation organisations in over 100 countries, working to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, and to promote...
The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk is an interdisciplinary research centre within the University of Cambridge dedicated to the study and mitigation of risks that could lead to human...