EU BON project: Combining citizen and satellite biodiversity data

“Information on life on Earth is crucial to addressing global and local challenges, from environmental pressures and societal needs, to ecology and biodiversity research questions,” says Christoph Häuser coordinator of the EU BON project and deputy director general of Berlin’s Museum für Naturkunde.

While existing data are vast and dispersed, information is not always easy to locate, accessible or understandable. And gaps remain: many areas have not been monitored, or not over any length of time. In other cases, less ‘popular’ flora and fauna have been neglected.

EU BON is an attempt to overcome these problems at European level and to contribute to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO)'s global initiative with the same aims - GEO BON.

Elsewhere, information exists, but is not available to the general public. Of 20 data providers investigated by EU BON, only one third was freely accessible to the general public, whereas two thirds were available with various restrictions. This was a surprise to Häuser, who would like to see a political will to share information. Environmental services are, after all, a huge opportunity for governments, he makes clear.

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