Worldwide scientific research on biodiversity and ecosystems is tremendous. One important focus of both policy makers and academics is to enhance accessibility and synthesis of data in order to improve political decision-making. Some key sources of scientific information and capacity building institutions are listed below.
Capacity building “network of networks” that promotes dialogue among science, policy and practice for more effective management of biodiversity and ecosystems. BES-Net is hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and implemented through partnerships. The BES-Net web portal provides a “one-stop shop” for policy-relevant information and learning material, guiding users through the existing sources of thematic information and methodological tools, and providing access to learning material and policy briefs."
The CBD-mandated Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP) is the global initiative to promote and coordinate development and delivery of biodiversity indicators in support of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and a range of other sectors.
BISE is a single entry point for data and information on biodiversity in the EU. It also serves as the EU Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism to CBD.
iDiv, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, is a hub for international biodiversity science whose central mission is to promote theory-driven synthesis and data-driven theory. iDiv is based in Leipzig and is jointly hosted by the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU), and the University of Leipzig (UL), each of which has a long tradition in the biodiversity sciences.
The expertise of these three top universities is strengthened within the iDiv consortium by the additional partnership of eight non-university institutions – the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI BGC), the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology (MPI CE), the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI EVA), the Leibniz Institute German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures (DSMZ), the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry (IPB), the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), and the Leibniz Institute Senckenberg Museum of Natural History (SMNG).
The Global Biodiversity Outlook is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Drawing on a range of information sources, including National Reports, biodiversity indicators information, scientific literature, and a study assessing biodiversity scenarios for the future, the third edition of Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3) summarizes the latest data on status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions for the future strategy of the Convention.
The 'Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services' (IPBES), with its secretariat located in Bonn, Germany, was established in April 2012, as an independent intergovernmental body open to all member countries of the United Nations. The members are committed to building IPBES as the leading intergovernmental body for assessing the state of the planet's biodiversity, its ecosystems and the essential services they provide to society. IPBES provides a mechanism recognized by both the scientific and policy communities to synthesize, review, assess and critically evaluate relevant information and knowledge generated worldwide by governments, academia, scientific organizations, non-governmental organizations and indigenous communities.
The IUCN Red List of Ecosystem compiles information on the state of the world’s ecosystems at different geographic scales. Its central objective is to assess the risk of ecosystem collapse.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM assesses the risk of species becoming extinct.
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was called for by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2000. Initiated in 2001, the objective of the MA was to assess the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being and the scientific basis for action needed to enhance the conservation and sustainable use of those systems and their contribution to human well-being. The MA has involved the work of more than 1,360 experts worldwide. Their findings, contained in five technical volumes and six synthesis reports, provide a state-of-the-art scientific appraisal of the condition and trends in the world’s ecosystems and the services they provide (such as clean water, food, forest products, flood control, and natural resources) and the options to restore, conserve or enhance the sustainable use of ecosystems.
The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is a global initiative focused on drawing attention to the economic benefits of biodiversity. Its objective is to highlight the growing cost of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. TEEB presents an approach that can help decision-makers recognize, demonstrate and capture the values of ecosystems & biodiversity, including how to incorporate these values into decision-making.
is the German TEEB initiative, adapting the international approach to German reality.
The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is a collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme, the world's foremost intergovernmental environmental organization, and WCMC, a UK-based charity. UNEP-WCMC is UNEP’s specialist biodiversity assessment arm, and the Centre for UNEP’s collaboration with WCMC. The mission is to provide authoritative information about biodiversity and ecosystem services in a manner that is useful to decision-makers who are driving change in environment and development policy. UNEP-WCMC collaborates with partners worldwide for drawing together, analysing and interpreting information on biodiversity, as well as strengthening the ability of others to do so.
The World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas™ is managed by BirdLife International on behalf of the KBA Partnership. It hosts data on global and regional Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), including Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas identified by the BirdLife International Partnership, Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, KBAs identified through hotspot ecosystem profiles supported by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, and a small number of other KBAs. The database was developed from the World Bird and Biodiversity Database (WBDB) managed by BirdLife International.