On a mission

Biodiversity conservation, natural science collections and global policy-making

Jutta Buschbom, Julian Carter, Elizabeth R. Ellwood and Paul Mayer

Talk given at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Biological Systematics GfBS, Greifswald (virtual), Germany, Mar. 21-24, 2022.

Statistical Genetics, March 23, 2022


Currently, the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and its monitoring strategy are under intense development and discussion in preparation for their adoption by the Conference of the Parties (COP15-2) of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) later this year.

Expert input submitted by bioDISCOVERY and GeoBon to the Secretariat of the CBD in January 2022 summarizes the conclusions drawn from today’s scientific data and knowledge for policy-makers in the title of its report as “Transformative actions on all drivers of biodiversity loss are urgently required to achieve the global goals by 2050” (Leadley et al. 2022).

Policy-makers see a comprehensive, ambitious and actionable post-2020 GBF monitoring framework that is rooted in science as a key tool for guiding, driving and mainstreaming the required transformation. They welcome the contributions of scientists, have identified “very clearly” the importance of data and metadata, and hence the need for investments into monitoring at the local, national and global levels. The goal is a distributed and federated Global Biodiversity Observation System (GBiOS) for the collection of global reference data, similar to the climate reference network.

Starting out from an introduction to the CBD and science-policy advocacy, the presentation will show how the Digital Extended Specimen infrastructure can transform heterogeneous biodiversity information provided by a very diverse community of a multitude of providers with distinct interests and needs into actionable, harmonized digital data. Often mediated by natural science collections, these data then will need to enter in versatile formats and fit-for-use quality the CBD’s data pathways via GBIF and additional global partners for transdisciplinary approaches to analyses, assessments and reporting of biodiversity conservation statuses and trends.


Leadley P, Krug C, Obura D, et al. (2022) Expert Input to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework – Transformative actions on all drivers of biodiversity loss are urgently required to achieve the global goals by 2050. 183 pp. Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, retrieved from https://www.cbd.int/doc/c/16b6/e126/9d46160048cfcf74cadcf46d/wg2020-03-inf-11-en.pdf (Feb. 18, 2022).

PDF of the presentation