EBVs are the abbreviation for Essential Biodiversity Variables.
These Essential Biodiversity Variables, defined as the derived measurements required to study, report, and manage biodiversity change, focusing on status and trend in elements of biodiversity should play the role of brokers between monitoring initiatives and decision makers. They provide the first level of abstraction between low-level primary observations and high-level indicators of biodiversity.

Criteria for Essential Biodiversity Variables

An ideal EBV should be

  • able to capture critical scales and dimensions of biodiversity
  • biological
  • a state variable (in general)
  • sensitive to change
  • ecosystem agnostic (to the degree possible)
  • technically feasible, economically viable and sustainable in time

These Essential Variables should also be able to be measured or modeled globally, and should ideally capitalize from integrating remote sensing with in-situ observations.
EBVs should be relevant to the broader community in the biodiversity monitoring and research projects, networks and initiatives, offering robust computations that can help populate the indicators to assess progress towards the 2020 Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Finally EBVs should provide the foundation for developing biodiversity forecasts under different policy and management scenarios.

GEO BON vision for the EBV

EBVs should become the window into the biodiversity observation systems upon which researchers, managers and decisions makers at different levels can better interact while they do their jobs. This dynamic virtual environment will promote creativity and broad community involvement. Also it will result in streamlined discussions that will naturally lead to community consensus, collaboration, initial implementation and further development of urgently needed Essential Biodiversity Variables.
GEO BON will proactively promote and facilitate the organization of EBV communities by providing the framework but as the process develops Communities should take the lead. The information produced by each individual EBV community will feed into the indicators in the EBV class pages and these information will feed into the main page of the website where the information will be integrated to provide readiness level indicators.

EBV classes and candidates

There are 6 EBV classes and 22 EBV candidates.
Click on each EBV class to get more detailed information about the candidates for each class.