Empowering stakeholders: FP7 project EU BON shares know-how on biodiversity data policies

Engagement with relevant political authorities and other stakeholders is of crucial importance for a research project, making sure its objectives are in tune with the real-world problems and its results provide adapted solutions. The EU-funded FP7 project Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON) shares the outcomes, lessons learned and conclusions from a series of three roundtable meetings designed to identify stakeholder needs and promote collaboration between science and policy.

The collection of EU BON stakeholder roundtable reports provides a summarized overview of shared experiences gained in the three different workshops that were organized from 2013-2016. With more than 100 participants from over 20 countries altogether, the roundtable reports provide insights and exchange of ideas on highly relevant issues concerning policy, citizen science and local/regional stakeholders and its networks.

The roundtables seek to build up a stakeholder dialogue with exemplary sector-specific user communities to incorporate feedback loops for the products of EU BON, as well as to develop improvements of existing biodiversity data workflows. Being published via the innovative Research Ideas & Outcomes (RIO) journal conclusions, derived knowledge and results are now made available for other projects and the wider community to ensure their re-use.

The three roundtable papers report on conclusion on highly relevant issues related to biodiversity information and its open-access and availability, data workflows and integration of citizen science as well as science-policy interfaces.

“In each of the three detailed reports of the roundtables we outline its aims, intentions, as well as results and recommendations, that were drafted based on the roundtable discussions, world café sessions and working groups. Such project results are now published for the first time in the new series of EU BON results, featured in RIO, providing a unique new medium to share experiences, outcomes and conclusions,” comments Dr. Katrin Vohland, Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin.

“The three reports were published as workshop report provided by the Research Ideas & Outcomes (RIO) journal. This allows readers to publish, distribute and computationally analyse myriads of workshop reports that otherwise often get forgotten or just lost,” comments Prof. Lyubomir Penev, co-founder and publisher of RIO.

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Original Sources:

Rationale of the roundtables

Wetzel F, Hoffmann A, Häuser C, Vohland K (2016) 1st EU BON Stakeholder Roundtable (Brussels, Belgium): Biodiversity and Requirements for Policy. Research Ideas and Outcomes 2: e8600. doi: 10.3897/rio.2.e8600

Vohland K, Häuser C, Regan E, Hoffmann A, Wetzel F (2016) 2nd EU BON Stakeholder Roundtable (Berlin, Germany): How can a European biodiversity network support citizen science? Research Ideas and Outcomes 2: e8616. doi: 10.3897/rio.2.e8616

Vohland K, Hoffmann A, Underwood E, Weatherdon L, Bonet F, Häuser C, Wetzel F (2016) 3rd EU BON Stakeholder Roundtable (Granada, Spain): Biodiversity data workflow from data mobilization to practice. Research Ideas and Outcomes 2: e8622. doi: 10.3897/rio.2.e8622

General synthesis and lessons learnt from the three EU BON stakeholder roundtables

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About EU BON:

EU BON stands for “Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network” and is a European research project, financed by the 7th EU framework programme for research and development (FP7). EU BON seeks ways to better integrate biodiversity information and implement into policy and decision-making of biodiversity monitoring and management in the EU.

Making the most out of biological observations data

Creating and maintaining a biodiversity data collection has been a much-needed worldwide exercise for years, yet there is no single standard on how to do this. This has led to a myriad of datasets often incompatible with each other. To make the most out of biodiversity data and to ensure that its use for environmental monitoring and conservation is both easy and legal, the FP7-funded EU project Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EU BON) published recommendations that provide consistent Europe-wide Data Publishing Guidelines and Recommendations in the EU BON Biodiversity Portal.

The report “Data Policy Recommendations for Biodiversity Data. EU BON Project Report” featured in the Research Ideas & Outcomes (RIO) journal, is the first contribution in a pioneering comprehensive project outputs compilation taking advantage of RIO’s unique option to publish collections of project results.

Biodiversity data and information provide important knowledge for many biological, geological, and environmental research disciplines. Additionally, they are crucial for the development of strong environmental policies and the management of natural resources. Information management systems can bring together a wealth of information and a legacy of over 260 years of biological observations which are now dispersed in a myriad of different documents, institutions, and locations.

EU BON aims to build a comprehensive “European Biodiversity Portal” that will incorporate currently scattered Europe-wide biodiversity data, while at the same time helping to realize a substantial part of the worldwide Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON). To achieve this ambitious plan, EU BON identifies the strong need for a coherent and consistent data policy in Europe to increase interoperability of data and make its re-use both easy and legal.

“Biodiversity data and information should not be treated as commercial goods, but as a common resource for the whole human society. The EU BON data sharing agreement is an important step in this direction,” comments the lead author of the report Dr. Willi Egloff from Plazi, Switzerland.

In its report, the EU BON project analysis available single recommendations and guidelines on different topics. On this basis, the report provides structured guidelines for legislators, researchers, data aggregators, funding agencies and publishers to be taken into consideration towards providing standardized, easy-to-find, re-shareable and re-usable biodiversity data.

“We are extremely happy that EU BON is among the first to take advantage of our project outputs collections option in RIO. The first report they are publishing with us deals with issues of opening up data, and digitizing and collecting scientific knowledge, all close to RIO’s mission to open up the research process and promote open science,” says Prof. Lyubomir Penev, Founder and Publisher of RIO.

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Original Source:

Egloff W, Agosti D, Patterson D, Hoffmann A, Mietchen D, Kishor P, Penev L (2016) Data Policy Recommendations for Biodiversity Data. EU BON Project Report. Research Ideas and Outcomes2: e8458. doi: 10.3897/rio.2.e8458

 

About EU BON:

EU BON stands for “Building the European Biodiversity Observation Network” and is a European research project, financed by the 7th EU framework programme for research and development (FP7). EU BON seeks ways to better integrate biodiversity information and implement into policy and decision-making of biodiversity monitoring and management in the EU.