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A Sourcebook of Methods and Procedures for Monitoring
Essential Biodiversity Variables in Tropical Forests with Remote Sensing

Past decades have seen a growing demand for biodiversity data to inform development decisions at the local to national scale for underpinning global and sub-global assessments (e.g. United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UN CBD), and National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAP).
The Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBV) concept proposed by the GEO BON, Space Agencies, and the Earth Observation research community at large aims to support efforts for biodiversity monitoring. However, there is a lack of information and consensus on the standardised and harmonised biodiversity data and monitoring methods that are required to assess how tropical forest biodiversity is evolving, and what the drivers of change are.
In this context GOFC-GOLD and GEO BON propose a new sourcebook. This joint effort based on a wide international group of forest researchers and Earth observation practitioners, aims to promote the best operational monitoring practices for the relevant EBVs based on scientific literature, and consensus.

Purpose: guide biodiversity monitoring in tropical forests using remote sensing to inform national and sub-national policy and decisions, convention commitments and targets.
Target Users: project managers, technical level practitioners in national, sub-national government agencies, academic institutions, NGOs, assuming audience has a background on remote sensing.
Focus: validated remote sensing techniques, integration of in situ and remote sensing observations, present sampling approaches, emerging technologies presented separately, list available Earth observation datasets, discuss synergies between biodiversity monitoring and REDD+ activities.

An infobrief on the biodiversity sourcebook can be downloaded here.


Sourcebook Download Version UNCBD COP 13 (December 2016)

This is the UNCBD COP 13 Version 1 of the Sourcebook. Further methods and technical details can be specified and added with evolving political negotiations and decisions.
The biodiversity sourcebook is also accessible from the website of the GEO BON.

Registration (optional)

You can register to our newsletter (issued 3-4 times /year) to be informed on any update of the biodiversity sourcebook. The sourcebook is an open document and registration is not required for download. All information is treated confidential.


A number of international experts in remote sensing and biodiversity monitoring have contributed to the development of this sourcebook and are thankfully acknowledged for their support (in alphabetical order):

Core Editorial team

Mike Gill, Vice-Chair GEO BON / Polar Knowledge Canada
Rob Jongman, JongmanEcology / Wageningen University Research
Sandra Luque, National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture, France
Brice Mora, GOFC-GOLD LC Office / Wageningen University Research
Marc Paganini, European Space Agency - ESRIN
Zoltan Szantoi, European Commission – Joint Research Centre


Maria P. Adamo, Jesús A. Anaya, Liana O. Anderson, Herizo Andrianandrasana, Pedro de Araujo Lima Constantino, Dusti Becker, Andrea Berardi, Palma Blonda, Richard Bodmer, Stephanie A. Bohlman, Robert G.H. Bunce, Kim Calders, Trevor Caughlin, Rene Colditz, Mark Chandler, Guangsheng Chen, Jenny Cousins, Theresa M. Crimmins, María Isabel Cruz López, Finn Danielsen, Ben DeVries, Lina Estupinan-Suarez, Deqin Fan, Jean-Baptiste Féret, Miguel A. Fernandez, Mike Gill, Ana Paula Giorgi, Scott Goetz, Sarah J. Graves, Matthew C. Hansen, Kate S. He, Uta Heiden, Mark Huxham, Daniel J. Hayes, Patrick Jantz, Nan Jiang, Rob H.G. Jongman, H. Andrew Lassiter, Olga León, Alison Leslie, Jed Long, Richard Lucas, Sandra Luque, Ronald E. McRoberts, Michele Meroni, Jayalaxshmi Mistry, Brice Mora, Ghislain Moussavou, Sander Mucher, Nagendra Harini, Mark Nelson, Madhura Niphadkar, Pontus Olofsson, Marc Paganini, Zisis I. Petrou, Michael K. Poulsen, Arun Pratihast, Johannes Reiche, Sami W. Rifai, Duccio Rocchini, Christophe Sannier, Carlos E. Sarmiento Pinzón, Roger Sayre, Linda See, Andrew Skidmore, Zoltan Szantoi, Cristina Tarantino, Ida Theilade, Thrity Vakil, Peter Vogt, Anton Vrieling, Benjamin E. Wilkinson, John N. Williams, Haigen Xu, Douglas Yu, Wenquan Zhu.


ESA, GEO BON, Jongman Ecology, IRSTEA, EC JRC