06.12.2016 | Biodiversity Conservation, TOP NEWS

Researchers compare biodiversity trends with the stock market

GEO BON is an international organisation which support monitoring and collating global biodiversity data. Logo: GEO BON

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Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) have the potential to help stop species loss. An international research team is using an analogy to explain what these variables are. Just as the price of a share varies according to supply and demand and the prices of all individual shares are used to calculate the index of a stock exchange, data from observations of nature is used to calculate biodiversity variables. From these it is possible to calculate indices which are crucial to policy decisions. By using this analogy, the researchers aim to show how important EBVs are to the protection of biodiversity and where efforts in this area are being hampered by global gaps in our knowledge. In its history, the Earth has experienced five major species extinctions. Researchers believe that we are now witnessing a sixth extinction event, with thousands of species disappearing every year.  To counter this massive species loss, 193 countries - including Germany - signed the UN Biodiversity Convention, committing themselves to halting the loss of biodiversity by 2020. But compared with climate change, the data on changes in biodiversity is fairly thin - and without data, this target cannot be implemented or verified. So in 2013, GEO BON (Group of Earth Observation Biodiversity Observation Network) - an international initiative which carries out monitoring and compiles data on global biodiversity - developed the concept of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs). The international GEO BON office is located at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) in Leipzig. Read more in the press release of UFZ: http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=36336&webc_pm=50/2016Further links: GEO BON, the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network: http://www.geobon.org/ iDiv / International GEO BON Office: https://www.idiv.de/research/international_office_geo_bon.html
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