ECOSCOPE is a national “biodiversity (meta)data hub” dedicated to “Observation for Research on Biodiversity”. It is led by the Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB) – a science-support & science-policy interface founded by eight French research institutions: CNRS, INRA, IRSTEA, IRD, IFREMER, BRGM, MNHN, CIRAD. The overall objective of the French BON is to contribute to document the state and to understand the trends of the biodiversity and to build scenarios for the future.

From 2018 onward, ECOSCOPE will join the national Data Synthesis Centre (CESAB) in a common joint venture, covering data analysis and scientific topics (including EBVs). The technical part may be transferred to the national node of GBIF (GBIF-France) with the following requirements: to widen the coverage of the levels of organization of biodiversity in the French information system and to allow management of metadata, not only specific biodiversity data.

About French BON

Aurélie Delavaud
ECOSCOPE, Foundation for Research on Biodiversity (FRB)

Denis Couvet
National Museum of Natural History (MNHN)

Biodiversity data are collected by several initiatives with their methods, scientific background and concepts, funding’s constraints, and users’ history. This results, inter alia, in plethora of heterogeneous data, managed in dispersed information systems, which are sometimes not documented.

In this context, the French BON was built to address the scientific challenge of documenting and understanding the state and trends of biodiversity, while building scenarios for the future. In particular, the proposed approach was to set up a national e-research infrastructure in order to foster the complementarity of observations, encompassing several degrees of organizations from the intra-specific level to the ecosystem level; and set up an entry point of access to observations and datasets on biodiversity. The French BON/ECOSCOPE makes its contribution to academic researchers while also facilitating access to non-academic biodiversity data producers and/or users.

To reach the overall objective (i.e. to contribute to document the state and to understand the trends of the biodiversity), the French BON addresses 3 key objectives leading to actions:

Key objectives
  1. To facilitate access and data sharing, to promote services for researchers and products for policy makers. The strategy adopted is to incubate a metadata portal as it is impossible to gather, in a single database, all biodiversity data covering all the biodiversity organization level and to co-develop services based on expertise from researchers.
  2. To encourage the complementarity of observation through all the levels of life organization (not only the species level) and through a holistic approach, allowing actors to join forces while respecting aims and constraints of each. The strategy adopted is to use the EBVs concept to discuss, harmonize, and co-organize joint events with wildlife experts, policy-makers, researchers from other domains (abiotic, socio-eco…).
  3. To promote collaboration with national and international existing initiatives. The strategy adopted is to identify and/or develop collaborations with biodiversity data producers and users’ initiatives, with other data hubs dedicated to ocean, Earth’s surfaces, atmosphere and solid Earth to promote their actions and best practices for data management.
1. Provide access to metadata and biodiversity observations datasets, to services and tools for visualizing and analysing data
Leads From FRB [2017] to another national structure [2018] with high-level information system capabilities.
Team/Partners Coordination team (cf. Anna Cohen-Nabeiro, FRB) + CESAB team (cf. Baptiste Laporte, FRB) + IndexMEED coordinator (cf. Romain David, CNRS) + Networks of observatories.
EBV Class
Development approach Capacity Building, Data Collection
Description In 2016, the metadata portal [] was launched. Observatories are now describing their activities and datasets following EML and ISO standards. This portal was incubated by the FRB and will be transferred to other structure with high-level information system capacities to speed up its improvement and development.
The next steps will be:
– To address the interoperability with GBIF-France, national research infrastructures (AnaEEFrance, LTER-France zones-atelier based on EU GeoCatalogue), and, at the international level with the information systems of GEO BON, DataONE and possibly LTER.
Capacity building and training on tools for data management, data sharing and analysis, which are organized in routine. During this implementation plan, ECOSCOPE, with the IndexMEED consortium, will investigate graphs as new tools to mine and visualize data through uses-cases, workshops and national seminars.
– Starting from 2018, ECOSCOPE will join the national Data Synthesis Center (CESAB) in a common joint venture, covering scientific topics (including EBVs) and data management approaches and tools (covering thesaurus).
Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables Last workshops and first outcomes of the French case studies of research on biodiversity using graphs + annual seminar.
  • Transfer of the metadata portal.
  • CESAB partnership.
Implementation of biodiversity thesaurus developed by the community. Full interoperability with other national and international information systems.
Link with other activities This activity will collaborate with the BON Development WG, particularly with BON in a Box (BD2). The activity is also strongly linked with activities of GBIF-France.
2. Encourage joint and integrated approach to develop the complementarity of observations
Leads FRB through ECOSCOPE & CESAB teams.
Team/Partners Coordination team (cf. Aurélie Delavaud, FRB) + CESAB team (cf. Alison Specht, FRB) + Researchers & experts from laboratories (incl. Jean-Baptiste Mihoub, UPMC; Cyrille Viole, CNRS; Sébastien Barot, IRD) + Networks of observatories (incl. Romain Julliard, MNHN; Isabelle Chuine, CNRS; Inaki Garcia-de-Cortazar-Auturi, INRA).
EBV Class
Development approach Capacity Building, Monitoring Protocol design, Assessments and Policy Support
Description The Workshops on EBVs & observation at the ecosystem level (structure, function), started in 2016, will continue and EBVs dedicated to genetic resources will be explored. This should help to structure a shared vision about scientific concepts, to engage conversation and debate on methods, to explore ways to organize data. Moreover, using a graph approach, a focus should be placed on the combination of variables to explore functional biodiversity.

Those concepts still need to be popularized within the research community and within other stakeholders’ groups such as protected areas managers and policy makers. ECOSCOPE is thus engaging in a reflection to establish a partnership with the new French Biodiversity Agency (AFB) that federates the French Environment community (protected areas managers, naturalists and indicators/reports for policy-support teams).

ECOSCOPE organizes or co-organizes seminars covering a scientific topic and gathering different communities (same questions, different concepts, approaches and methods).

Finally, ECOSCOPE provides research institutions and ministries with situational analysis of national observatories.

Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables
  • Organisation of a scientific seminar on EBVs and Ecosystem Services.
  • National networks involvement (TEMPO, SC).
  • AFB partnership (tbd).
  • Seminar on domesticated and wild population management.
  • Workshop on EBVs and observation at the ecosystem level.
  • National networks operation (TEMPO,SC).
First outcome of case studies on combinations of EBVs through graphs. Update of the Situational analysis.
Link with other activities This activity will be linked with the EBVs Development TF and BON development WG. In addition, TEMPO (phenology) and Citizen science national networks will develop their contribution to GEO BON (monitoring protocol design, data collection, modelling approach).
3. Contribution to national and international initiatives and openness
Leads FRB through ECOSCOPE & CESAB teams.
Team/Partners National initiatives working on data management and/or involved in international initiatives.
EBV Class
Development approach Capacity Building
Description The components of this activity are integrated with previous initiatives in a “win-win” relationship:
– ECOSCOPE establishes links with others national initiatives promoting best practices for data management and with others major infrastructures. This include GBIF-France, the Databases network RBDD, INRA-datapartage, INPN, and others national data hubs – organizing themselves as a research infrastructure: ODATIS / oceans, Form@Ter / solid earth, THEIA / lands and Earth’s surface (remote sensing) and ACTRIS / atmosphere.
– The success of this activity will rely on the establishment of new links with the AFB (cf. previous activities)
– This activity will also be reflected by the involvement of ECOSCOPE in several working groups coordinated by international initiatives (RDA, DataONE, LifeWatch…).
– ECOSCOPE will spread information about its activities and partners’ tools and results – through a newsletter.
Timeline 2017 2018 2019 2020
Milestones and/or Deliverables Integrated data hub for research on biodiversity and environment.
Link with other activities
Data Products
Documents & Publications