Skip to main content
Viewing 27 reply threads
  • Author
    • #6861

      Dear visitor,

      Welcome to the Q&A block for the Session 2 of the The Fifth Science-Policy Forum for Biodiversity and The Eighth International Conference on Sustainability Science, scheduled on 15 April 2021.

      Please note that, since all the questions cannot be handled in the time provided, this section is made for all the presenters, panelists and attendees to continue the exchange through the forum which will remain open for three days after the end of this session, i.e; till 20 April 2021, to give an opportunity for the online discussions to continue.

      As a starting point, the questions, responses and comments have been documented under the Science4biodiversity account. You may continue discussions with the account provided to you.

      Thank you for your patience.

    • #7234

      Josue ARUNA questioned
      Is it possible to share with your team some date collected by us on behalth of Congo Basin Conservation Society. Cbcs NGO. ? For publication ? Like Hippopotamus data

      • #7280

        Josue: for primary data relating to species occurrences, the best option is probably share data through GBIF – depending on your home country this can either be through a national GBIF node or you can register directly as a GBIF data publisher, using this link . If you would like to follow up, please feel free to contact me directly at

    • #7235

      Natasha Ali questioned
      Mike – perhaps I missed it: do countries say why they use national vs global indicators?

      • #7281

        This was answered orally during the session

    • #7236

      Olayiwola Agoro questioned
      Thank you Lina, in the course of your data collection, what has been the influence of political decisions, or don’t you experience that?

      • #7285

        This was answered live during the session

    • #7237

      Janny Sumilla questioned
      What are the advantages and disadvantages of Citizen-Science approach of collecting data? To Ms. Lina

      • #7290

        This question was answered orally during the session

    • #7238

      Juan Rocha questioned
      Thanks Lina for your talk!! Do you know if the Humboldt institute make data openly available for research purposes? Visualization services are great for communicating to the general public, but is it an API or similar service to access and combine biodiversity datasets with other sources?

    • #7239

      Nakul Chettri questioned
      There seems to be differences in term of capacity, priority and infrastructure at regional scales. So, one global indicator may be a limiting factor to reflect regional indicators. Is it possible look for region based indicators?

      • #7240

        Mike Gill responded
        To add to Henrique’s answer – I also think we can structure harmonized indicators that allow for different levels of regional capacity – so more or less the same indicator but using flexible flows of different data from different nations/regions.

        And this is where the Essential BIodiversity Variables come in as they allow data independent of methods to be integrated to say something about biodiveristy change. These can act as the connective tissue between regions and other geographies to some extent.

      • #7241

        Andrew Gonzalez responded
        For indicators such as connectivity and ecosystem integrity: we have a small set of common indicators, based on EBVs and landcover, that can be used at regional and global scales. This is key to achieve so we can aggregate and disaggregate our understanding of biodiversity change.

    • #7242

      Anonymous Attendee questioned
      Currently monitoring efforts are often sporadic and quite expensive, aerial surveys for example might only occur once in a decade. Also, wildlife management units are often geographically defined by anthropogenic features on the landscape such as highways as opposed to biologically relevant boundaries based on viable habitat for species. Indigenous peoples through their stewardship conduct constant landscape level monitoring and their traditional knowledge offers access to data sets thousands of years long. What can we do to help braid these sources of information to enhance monitoring?

      • #7243

        Mike Gill responded
        You raise some fundamental challenges here and ones not easily overcome. However, we are becoming better at modelling techniques that can interpolate or infer status and trends between sampling locations but also we can use these models to tell us where, in a priority fashion, we should put efforts to fill gaps. REmote sensing also plays a key role here but not to the point that we can no longer do ground observations – ground observations are essential.

    • #7244

      Abdullahi Hassan questioned
      Could you please elaborate more about the national biodiversity challenges as we face many challenges not only data availability but also access so what are the key technologies that make easier data and how can be downscaled the global data to national ?

      • #7245

        Mike Gill responded
        We are working with webservices, models and data visualization technology (e.g. Biodiversity Dashboards) to streamline access and use of relevant data for regions/nations around the world. These are not replacements for actual on the ground data collection but they do provide some insights and use. We also believe that even nations with limited data have opportunities to apply very simple workflows that integrate this data with other sources to build useful conservation indicators and spatial products.

      • #7246

        Tim Hirsch responded
        Also, primary species data published through GBIF via national nodes is fully accessible by all.

    • #7247

      Benjamin Barca questioned
      What is the role of improving Digital Sequence Information data flows and facilitating permissions to collect this type of data to help fill these gaps globally? It is now clear that this type of DNA based monitoring data will play a growing important role for biodiversity monitoring going forward.

      • #7248

        Henrique Pereira responded
        I think this will be increasingly important, particularly for some ecosystems (eg freshwater eDNA monitoring)

    • #7249

      Jitendra Gaikwad questioned
      What will be the incentive for people to publish data via GEO BON portal instead of regional or national portals?

      • #7250

        Henrique Pereira questioned
        I think it’s not essential people publish datasets on the GEO BON portal. It’s most important that people publish datasets somewhere and use a data standard like the EBV datatandard based on NetCDF.
        Said that, advantages are: visibility, the accessibility of users using the webgis tool that we developed to automatically understand the datasets, obtaining a DOI, and joining a community of like minded people!

    • #7251

      Yvan Le Bras questioned
      Thank you Andy for this great talk. A question/comment: For sure openness of data and tools/source codes are really a mandatory point BUT unfortunately, this is not sufficient. We also need “”actionnable”” data and tools/workflows, so humans and machines can use it. So for example, data can be directly download + tools/workflows installable and useable in heterogeneous infrastructures. For example, in the French EBV operationalization pilot, we are working on both goals (opennes + FAIR tools and workflows) using the Galaxy platform to have “Pratical reproducibility of biodiversity treatments”. This is really hard to adress this “double” challenge BUT appears to be so important to consider jointly. What are you (Andy but all panel) thinking about this point (not only open but actionnable/FAIR/reuseable in practice) ?

      • #7252

        Andrew Gonzalez responded
        Couldn’t agree more, Yvan. The hardest step is combining the “raw” or base data into the data layers that the tools use to calculate connectivity. We’re are getting these layers together for larger spatial extents. And, we are overcoming the computational challenges of calculating changing connectivity as it responds to human land use and conservation action. All this has to be easily reproducible and widely available to all…i think we can get there for large parts of the globe very soon.

    • #7253

      Jutta Buschbom questioned
      Natural history collections worldwide are providing GBIF with high-quality data through their large-scale digitization efforts of existing collection specimens. Do you see additional roles for and needed contributions by collections and the collections community in local to global biodiversity monitoring?

      • #7254

        Alice Hughes responded
        This data is invaluable, but all forms of data have their own forms of use and enhance spatial and temporal coverage to enable us to better understand dynamics behind changes in species distribution patterns. Better recognition of the value of these types of collection are also needed in some parts of the world

    • #7255

      Bashir Yusuf Abubakar questioned
      Prof Alice, with data inadequacy, why not we think of data gathering through collaboration?

      • #7256

        Alice Hughes responded
        Collaboration is key. Organisations like GBIF have put huge resources into trying to mobilise data and overcome some of the biases, but it’s something we all need to actively work to overcome

    • #7257

      Yvan Le Bras questioned
      Thank you Alice for your great talk too (and all presenters in fact). Are you sure we need to create new standard OR do you think making a better use of existing standards + producing “intelligent” tools around it can be a better solution (because of the high cost of creating data standard + making it understandable and useable). Here I want ot make a focus on the EML (Ecological Metadata Language) as there is very few initiaitves using the COMPLETE specification of this amazing metadata standard (in fact major are DataOne related). Using such a mature metadata standard allows to describe very fine grain all kind of data

      • #7258

        Alice Hughes responded
        Thank you. I think good standards do exist, they just are not standardised-or mandated enough. As you say using EML, making it clearer so it becomes used across more datasets and standard data collection is the way forwards to enable most effective use of data

    • #7259

      Jitendra Gaikwad questioned
      In the slide the GEO BON data portal was indicated as FAIR. How closely the data conforms to the FAIR indicators, which are mentioned in the FAIR data maturity model? Has there been any asssessment done in that regard?

      • #7260

        Henrique Pereira responded
        No formal assessment yet, but this is our principle. In some aspects of it we go beyond fair as the data is fully open.

    • #7261

      Jitendra Gaikwad questioned
      Would be great to see Biodiversity Data Standards taking up the Humboldt extension to the DarwinCore

      • #7262

        Robert Guralnick responded
        We are working on that very activity and once we finish that effort, we expect to bring that forward for a public comment period and then hopefully see this ratified. I am hoping we’ll have that process wrapped up by end of year (if not sooner)

    • #7263

      Jacqueline Hamilton questioned
      Do you see opportunity (or examples) for workflows or nested designs in decision supoprt tools and/or data collection to “scale down” and add to national data and monitoring at sub-national scales where information gathered can be so far removed (esp in big countries) from these national processes that often different data, language and metrics are being used

      • #7264

        Mike Gill responded
        Hi Jacqueline – yes, I do think this is possible and in fact we are seeing this happen with work we are conducting in Ghana and Uganda where we are co-developing workflows that connect data to analytics to indicators and other outputs and even sub-national, county level orgs and agencies are applying these workflows and the outputs to make decisions. An example is the Land-Use Spatial Planning Authority in Ghana who is running our Spatial Biodiversity Assessment workflow at their county level to conduct muncipal level planning that protects habitats

      • #7265

        Alice Hughes responded
        We need scalable designs. Biodiversity is local, policy is national (sometimes subnational), targets are often global. Having cross-referenceable data and scalable approaches is essential to ensure we have data which is comparable and can be used for cross-scale indicators

      • #7266

        Maria Cecilia Londono Murcia responded
        There is an opportunity for doing this, but most important it is a need. Workflows from data to indicators and action are needed National and at subnational sacales, using their own data and adapted to their own contexts.

    • #7267

      Yvan Le Bras questioned
      looking at the Alice and Rob points related to “fine” description of “inventory process” and others is something arguing that instead of using a data satandard, it can be more efficient to use a metadata standard (as there is one particularly of interest in our fields, EML once again) as this is de facto more flexible / modular. Moreover, it appears to me the “cost” of using a metadata standard approach instead of a data standard approach is particularly on the reuse, because it oblige reusers to take time understanding the datafile (s) to combine it with another datafile (s). What do you think about this “data standard” vs “metadata standard” positioning ?

      • #7268

        Alice Hughes responded
        I think we actually need both. Clear metadata standards to provide all metadata in a clear and standardised way and data standards for the data itself, especially for data which may be widely used or combined with other-datasets (and where metadata may not be clearly and individually checked). This maximises sensible data-use, and helps ensure data is not used when it is not “fit for purpose”, especially for those who may not take the time to understand all caveats, whilst enabling those who may look more indepth at individual datasets have the information to do so

      • #7269

        Robert Guralnick responded
        Oops I didn’t mean to answer this question live, Yvan! Such a deep question! I think you are right this is very hard, and it relates to how people want to assemble new datasets from published data, and how to get the needed metadata that explains the process that generated those data. We have been working on the Humboldt extension as a way to align with the frameworks we have with Darwin Core, and making sure that every record has its reported inventory process. This requires a longer answer still but I hope we can keep talking

    • #7270

      Raki Ap questioend
      How Indigenous Peoples can and should play an important role in the ‘Data Gap’.

      UN FCCC underlined the importance of Indigenous Peoples whose way of life have preserved more then 80% of worlds biodiversity.
      At the same time more then 97% of world deforestation happens on those crucial Indigenous Lands.

      I represent the people of West Papua, which is part of world largest tropical island and one of Earth’s best preserved flora and fauna hotspots.
      Governments as Indonesia is closing West Papua for NGO’s how can we still get credible data from such a crucial area.

      I see the importance of academic and institutional data sharing, at the same Time I miss the most essential stake holders and best Protectors of the earth’s biodiversity.
      How can we support Indigenous Peoples in credible data collecting? Because they have the will but have been kept out important meeting such as this one.

      • #7271

        Mike Gill responded
        Hi Raki – thankyou for raising this. I fully agree that Indigenous People’s are core to this given their close relationship to the land over multiple time scales (eons but also year round) allowing for deeper understanding of ecological relationships as well as observing biodiversity change on a daily/yearly basis. I think there has been an unfortunate imbalance on this but there are some great examples that show a way forward – for instance, in the Arctic, where I have worked for many years, we have biodiversity monitoring programs led by Indigenous experts who observe change while on the land (hunting/harvesting) as well as provide deeper/longer interpretations. There’s some good examples that we can and should build on.

        • #7278

          Raki Ap responded
          Thanks for answer Mike!

          Indigenous Perspectives is essential, because if cared about their lives and rights, we did not had a climate and biodiversity crisis.

          So I hope we all realize this thr way ahead in all the things we do.

          God Bless You All.

    • #7272

      Christine von Weizsaecker questioned
      The inclusion of traditional knowledge in the Draft Target 19 Text indicates difficulties with “simple” public availability. This should be subject to Free Prior Informded Consent. So answering the last poll is not that easy.

      • #7273

        Mike Gill responded
        Thanks for this Christine and agree with this. In GEO BON interventions to the CBD discussions, our call for investments in national biodiversity observation systems has included some indication with regard to Free Prior Informed Consent.

    • #7274

      Jitendra Gaikwad questioned
      is there any report or scientific article available illustrating data gaps for all indicators?

      • #7275

        Mike Gill responded
        Here’s two that sort of cover this but there are many more. Some grey literature publications from WCMC on the BIP website that might be useful.
        Han, X., Gill, M., Hamilton, H., Vergara, S., and Young, B. (2020). Progress on national biodiversity indicator reporting and prospects for filling indicator gaps in Southeast Asia. Environmental and Sustainability Indicators
        Bhatt. R., Gill, M., Hamilton, H., Han, X., Linden, H., and Young, B. (2020). Uneven Use of Biodiversity Indicators in Fifth National Reports to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Environmental Conservation

    • #7276

      Anna Hewson questioned
      How do other countries fund their ‘open data sets’ for protecting bng sites? Is there an uplifted government budget for open data and handling of data, anf standards, to ensure accuracy of one national database? Having these conversations now in the UK.

      *open data sets for protected BNG sites (to avoid future development on them)

    • #7277

      Alina Lupu questioned
      Just to complement what Henrique said : The European Commission will soon launch the implementation of the Digital Twin of the Earth ( and a call for experts will be published, for modelling and the design and implementation of large scale, data and compute intensive federated systems, in particular federated architecture design, HPC and cloud infrastructures operations and management, AI, data governance and stewardship.
      The expert group will help also the preparation of the Biodiversity Digital Twin that will be officially launched in 2024 (but start being prepared now).

    • #7279

      Natasha Ali commented
      You can see the analysis in this CBD INF doc here:

    • #7331

      jannysumilla questioned
      Can individual researcher publish directly to GBIF Data found out to be deficient from a certain Distribution without the links to Institutional affiliations?

    • #7333

      Janny: GBIF only accepts data from registered data publishers which can be institutions or networks endorsed through the process described at . However, options include either sharing observations through iNaturalist whose research-grade records are automatically harvested by GBIF, or publishing a data paper e.g. through Pensoft’s Biodiversity Data Journal in which case the underlying data will be shared with GBIF through the journal’s own platform. I would be happy to elaborate on this through direct email contact

    • #7372

      We know the data, as innovative method, is a double-edged sword toward biodiversity. On the one hand, eDNA technology brought a large convenient on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) system; however, one the other hand, eDNA technology is increasing the difficulty for the cross-border supervision. Is it a good way to govern the sustainability for DSI(Digital Sequence Information)on biodiversity, especially towards ABS system?

      • #7376

        Certainly the systems currently in place through GBIF to ensure transparency and attribution for research use of data shared under open licence from multiple sources and from many countries (e.g. through DOI citations) could be part of the model for governance of DSI – and this approach is among the policy options currently under discussion through the CBD consultations on this issue.

        • #7381


          Prof. Tim, thanks for your respoond! That is a promising policy! But We may still face the pressure from “business secret” of DSI, as currently, some of private companies hide their valuable DSI and prevent them from public access in order to avoid ABS obligation and at the same time raise it business value and academic value. Also, we may still face the challenge that how to trace back the DSI as DOI, especially in the circumstance that such DSI was used and reused multiple times.

Viewing 27 reply threads
  • The topic ‘Session 2’ is closed to new replies.