GEO BON hosted a side event at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) SBSTTA19 meeting in Montreal, Canada on November 5th, 2015. The side event presented an opportunity for GEO BON to profile many of its milestones and achievements as they relate to supporting the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Aichi 2020 Targets. These include highlighting six new biodiversity indicators that support Targets 5, 11, 12, 15 and 19 and the launch of BON in a Box (boninabox.geobon.org) a capacity building toolkit (developed by GEO BON and Colombia’s Humboldt Institute) for lowering the threshold for a nation or region to enhance or develop a biodiversity observation network.
The side event was co-hosted and delivered by Mike Gill (GEO BON Vice-Chair) and Maria Cecilia Londoño (Colombia’s Humboldt Institute) and was extremely well attended. GEO BON received much positive feedback and advice in regard to its progress and support for the CBD Parties. As well, in the SBSTTA19 Plenary, numerous countries made statements that called for the need for more effective biodiversity observation systems and indicated support and appreciation for GEO BON. Continued development of BON in a Box in Latin America and new work to start in Africa in 2016 was also highlighted. Finally, its use in supporting development of a Colombian National Biodiversity Observation System was also profiled.