Built on existing regional and global networks, the Freshwater Biodiversity Observation Network (FWBON) will be an important mechanism to collect, standardize and distil freshwater biological and ecosystem data and information into products that will improve the observation, reporting and protection of freshwater biodiversity. It will enable the global scientific community to describe the relationships between biodiversity, organism abundance, system productivity, and ecosystem services.About FW BON
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage & The Australian Museum, Australia
University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland
Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Canada
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FW BON will promote the establishment of best practices for global freshwater biodiversity observations by:
- improving the collection of harmonized data
- developing data standards and methodologies for data management and dissemination
- facilitating data sharing without compromising national concerns
- integrating biodiversity information with physical and chemical data
- producing products useful for sound management of rivers and their catchments, lakes, wetlands and subterranean aquatic ecosystems
- better integration and harmonization of freshwater science and practice with terrestrial and coastal objectives.
FW BON seeks to integrate independent historical and current biological/ecological surveys and databases and fill gaps with new observations that incorporate: new remote sensing methods; novel molecular (eDNA) technologies; traditional biodiversity and environmental research tools; citizen
science and community based monitoring activities facilitated by advances in information and communication technologies; coordinated experiments and process studies. It will support modelling efforts aimed at estimating current, as well as future distribution and populations of freshwater biodiversity to support decision making by various stakeholders at various levels. FW BON will also develop the framework for integrating biodiversity with other essential environmental variables (Essential Water Variables) and databases by working with GEO Water, GEO Wetlands, GWOS, and other national and international groups.
1. Operationalising FW BON
|Leads||Eren Turak, Aaike De Wever, Jeanne Nel|
|Development approach||Capacity Building, Assessments and Policy Support|
|Milestones and/or Deliverables||
||Hold a global conference Freshwater Biodiversity Observations||Mobilise the FW BON network to collect and analyse biodiversity observations in freshwater ecosystems across the globe|
|Resources||Most of the liaison will be done by skype, webinars and meetings on the back of other meetings. We require travel funding for one face-to-face meeting for coordination of freshwater information portals. Major funding will be needed to organise the Global Conference freshwater biodiversity observations at the end of 2019. These funds will be raised through initiatives planned together multiple partners|
|Link with other activities||Links have been identified with most WGs and BONs (see description).|
2. Connecting and mobilising people and resources towards comprehensive global freshwater biodiversity assessment by 2020
|Team/Partners||To be established|
|Development approach||Capacity Building, Monitoring Protocol Design, Data Collection, Modelling, Assessments and Policy Support|
|Description||This activity will provide knowledge for the compilation, integration and synthesis of available information about freshwater biodiversity observations across the globe and communicate this widely to the scientific community. The information will be included in compiling materials that support BON in a Box. Specifically:
|Milestones and/or Deliverables||Steps are identified in each major region of the world (continents) to achieve a global assessment of the status of freshwater biodiversity by 2020.(complementing 2017 IPBES assessments). These will then be communicated in high profile publications during 2018||
||A global network of connected people that have the capacity to meaningfully assess the status of freshwater biodiversity in every Freshwater Ecoregion of the World (FEOW regions).|
|Resources||Project funds needed for a global workshop on freshwater invertebrate sampling||Project funds needed for a global workshop on freshwater invertebrate sampling|
|Link with other activities||Support from and/or collaboration with Policy Task Force, National and Regional BONs, EBV Working Groups.|
3. Inventorying global freshwater biodiversity for Freshwater Information Platform (FIP)
|Lead||Aaike De Wever|
|Team/Partners||To be established|
|Development approach||Capacity Building, Data Collection|
|Description||This activity focuses on improving the availability of global freshwater biodiversity data. It will also contribute freshwater material for the BON in a Box toolkit. It will also establish a link to the Freshwater Information Platform (FIP) as a central hub for compiling and integrating species distribution data, exploring possibilities for exchanging and publishing data from freshwater observatories and monitoring institutes.
|Milestones and/or Deliverables||FIP Advisory-GEO BON Board||
||Produce freshwater specific material for the BON in a Box toolkit||Encourage uptake/use of these guidelines|
|Resources||Most of these activities can be done remotely or back-to-back to existing meetings. Although currently unfunded, the Freshwater Information Platform is looking into more sustainable funding options which could also cover specific activities under this FW BON task.|
|Link with other activities||FWB1., FWB2. This activity will also be linked with and supported by the EBV Data TF.|
4. Classifying freshwater ecosystems and assessing their associate services
|Team/Partners||To be established|
|Development approach||Assessments and Policy Support|
|Description||This activity focuses on using a hierarchical classification of freshwater ecosystems to derive a spatially consistent global product of ecological freshwater units. Such a product provides a vital resource for numerous processes, such as assessing and listing threatened ecosystems, ecosystem accounting, evaluating the capacity of different regions to supply ecosystem services. Activities include:
|Milestones and/or Deliverables||Develop an idea for joint publication with the Ecosystem Services Working Group of GEO BON||Meeting with USGS on protocol for developing ecological freshwater units||IUCN publication on hierarchical classification system of freshwater habitats||
|Resources||To be done at the PECS II workshop in Mexico in Nov 2017||Budget needed for inviting 10-15 experts||To be done remotely||To be done remotely|
|Link with other activities||This activity will be linked with the Ecosystem Structure and Ecosystem Services WGs.|
FWBON has agreed to use the Freshwater Information Platform (FIP) for joint dissemination strategies aiming to reach the freshwater community and raise the profile of freshwater biodiversity. The FIP is a central hub for compiling and integrating species distribution data, exploring possibilities for exchanging and publishing data from freshwater observatories and monitoring institutes.
FWBON data products will be published through the FIP:
Documents and publications are available through Research Gate at:
FWBON currently has 136 members from 52 countries.
Turak, E., Harrison, I., Dudgeon, D., Abell, R., Bush, A., Darwall, W., et al. (2016). Essential Biodiversity Variables for measuring change in global freshwater biodiversity. Biological Conservation, 1–9. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.09.005