European countries and regions have invested substantial amounts of resources into biodiversity conservation and knowledge. However, there continues to be limited availability at the EU-scale of harmonized, long-term, spatially explicit and regularly updated biodiversity data. This limits the uptake by policies and sectors that have an impact on biodiversity or that can mitigate biodiversity loss. How will EuropaBON address this challenge?

EuropaBON will address this challenge by building on stakeholder engagement and knowledge exchange to identify user and policy needs for biodiversity monitoring. More specifically, EuropaBON will:

  • Assess current monitoring efforts to identify gaps, data and workflow bottlenecks, and analyze cost-effectiveness of different monitoring schemes;
  • Adopt the GEO BON framework for the development of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) and Essential Ecosystem Service Variables (EESVs) across the EU to support policy;
  • Design a European biodiversity monitoring system to integrate in-situ and remote sensing data through models;
  • Demonstrate the operationalization of EBVs and EESVs for policy through showcases, including policy-relevant indicators to assess progress in biodiversity targets, short-term biodiversity and ecosystem services forecasts, and scenarios;

In EuropaBON, IIASA leads Work Package (WP) 2 on stakeholder engagement. This WP oversees the processes of identifying critical stakeholders to map out user and policy needs for biodiversity monitoring and to facilitate knowledge exchange via a series of workshops. The project will therefore be continuously expanding its network by recruiting new project members and stakeholders. WP2 further aims to investigate the feasibility of setting up a Biodiversity Monitoring Coordination Centre in Europe, which can coordinate monitoring activities across Europe, streamline knowledge and data, and facilitate policy uptake of biodiversity data for multiple purposes and policy objectives. IIASA is also involved in WP 5, which will be showcasing how biodiversity monitoring data and best-in-class biodiversity models can track species and ecosystems conservation status through space and time and report on the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation measures. 


The EuropaBON Consortium brings together 15 partners from 8 European Union countries, Norway and the UK. Its partners are:  

  • Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Germany
  • Ecological and Forestry Applications Research Centre (CREAF), Spain
  • University of Amsterdam (UvA), Netherlands
  • Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Germany
  • Joint Research Centre - European Commission (JRC), Belgium
  • Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Belgium
  • Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NINA), Norway
  • Geographic Institute and Spatial Planning (IGOT UL), Portugal
  • Institute of Sciences, Technologies and Agribusiness of the University of Porto (ICETA), Portugal
  • Pensoft Publishers (PENSOFT), Bulgaria
  • The University of Reading (UREAD), United Kingdom
  • The University Court of the University of St. Andrews (USTAN), United Kingdom
  • University of Tartu (UTartu), Estonia
  • Butterfly Conservation (DBC), Netherlands 


Brimstone butterfly on a purple flower against bright blue sky

31 March 2022

How can we improve biodiversity monitoring in Europe?

National biodiversity monitoring programs in Europe face many challenges, according to the first report of the Europe-wide EuropaBON project released today. The analysis includes data from more than 350 experts from policy, science, and environmental protection practice. The team is also drafting a proposal for a transnational monitoring of Europe's biodiversity and ecosystems.

26 November 2020

Monitoring biodiversity and ecosystems in Europe

IIASA is collaborating with 14 partner institutions from Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain on a new research project aimed at developing a transnational system for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystems in Europe.