GEO BON is a part of GEO, The Group on Earth Observations. Within the GEO family, GEO BON represents biodiversity, one of GEO’s nine Societal-Benefit-Areas. GEO BON, the Biodiversity Observation Network of GEO, is building up for the pathway to link biodiversity data and metadata to GEOSS, the Global Earth Observation System of Systems. GEOSS will provide decision-support tools to a wide variety of users. As with the Internet, GEOSS will be a global and flexible network of content providers allowing decision makers to access an extraordinary range of information at their desk.

In a few short years, GEO BON has created a large global network and community of practice involved in biodiversity observations. Actually, the GEO BON secretariat is hosted by iDiv and supported by the German Science Foundation.

GEO BON’s Clients and Their Needs

A successful and sustainable global biodiversity observation network must clearly and effectively meet ‘user’ needs. GEO BON’s most important block of users is the national governments who are responsible for reporting on the status and trends in ecosystems and the biodiversity they support to meet their

national mandates (e.g. national biodiversity plans, recovering species at risk, sustaining ecosystem services) and international obligations (e.g. Convention on Biological Diversity, Ramsar Convention, Convention on Migratory Species, etc.), most of which are members of the GEO BON network.

The Global Earth Observation System of Systems

GEO BON is recognized as a partner by the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Another key user group of GEO BON and the resulting data is the scientific community that needs sound and reliable data to produce and populate models, study the drivers of biodiversity change and distribution, identify new and emerging threats to biodiversity along with effective responses, and that must create scenarios and assessments of policies to facilitate decision-making (e.g. Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).