Biodiversity monitoring promotes sustainable development

Close up of ant standing on green leaf against green backgroundASU-Conservation International Professor of Practice, Dr. Jorge Ahumada, recently published a paper in Biological Reviews titled “Building essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) of species distribution and abundance at a global scale.” The study assesses some of the challenges of developing a large, global database focused on species distribution and abundance. It proposes eleven workflow steps to operationalize this process while offering concrete examples from existing projects, including the TEAM Network. Dr. Ahumada is the Executive Director of the TEAM Network, which stands for Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring. Its mission is “to generate real time data for monitoring long-term trends in tropical biodiversity through a global network of field stations, providing an early warning system on the status of biodiversity to effectively guide conservation action.” Assessing the state of biodiversity around the world to inform policy and conservation efforts is no small task. However, “The case studies presented demonstrate the feasibility of calculating and implementing EBVs,” explained Ahumada. The concept of EBVs was created to standardize biodiversity monitoring around the world. Continuing to develop a structure for studying, reporting and managing biodiversity will allow us to continue moving in the right direction towards achieving sustainable development goals.