Biodiversa+ report emphasises the importance of cutting edge technologies for biodiversity monitoring

20 February 2023

In order to achieve the targets set out in the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, biodiversity monitoring efforts need to be scaled up and refined to allow for an accurate systematisation of the state of ecosystems so as to halt its rapid degradation. Likewise, MAMBO works to contribute to better assessment of biodiversity in Europe by providing knowledge, tools and infrastructure for monitoring habitats more comprehensively.

Biodiversa+, the European Biodiversity Partnership, aims to improve biodiversity monitoring across all land and sea, reinforcing links with research and innovation, as well as mainstreaming biodiversity status and trends. This research initiative, supported by the European Commission, works to increase the quality, use, and harmonisation of biodiversity monitoring schemes in order to map the trends of ecosystem development and better understand the relationship between the state of biodiversity and drivers or pressures of its evolution.

In light of this, Biodiversa+ has published a report titled “Biodiversity monitoring knowledge gaps and research and innovation priorities”, which explores the state of knowledge on necessary tools for ecosystem monitoring as well as the role of society in the process. MAMBO coordinator Toke T. Høye is one of the main authors of the report. 

It focuses on identifying the knowledge gaps in relation to the following main aspects: 

  • Facet 1: Testing and application of new tools, technologies and approaches for biodiversity monitoring;

  • Facet 2: Involvement of citizens in the biodiversity monitoring activities;

  • Facet 3: Use of monitoring data by research and innovation (including better understanding of biodiversity status, trends, drivers).

The document also explores other knowledge gaps at the intersection of the three facets and identifies cross cutting themes between them. The report further considers important elements for biodiversity monitoring beyond the knowledge gaps such as the priorities, coverage, and indicators of monitoring tools and technologies. 

The report highlights the need to focus on remote sensing approaches with an emphasis on acoustic and image-based methods as well as on the importance of incorporating artificial intelligence devices in biodiversity monitoring. All these new techniques will be linked through workflows and informational frameworks to the specific monitoring requirements for habitats and result in cost-effective and enhanced data collection and analysis. 

Furthermore, the publication called attention to the importance of citizen involvement in monitoring processes. Citizen science can greatly aid research and innovation efforts, improve the design and methods of data collection, and offer opportunities for co-creation with different communities. 

Learn more and read the Biodiversa+ report here