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What is GEO BON?

GEO BON, which stands for “Group on Earth Observations - Biodiversity Observation Network”, represents the biodiversity component of GEOSS, the Global Earth Observation System of Systems.

What is the vision of GEO BON?

The vision of GEO BON is for a global biodiversity observation system, that is, a coordinated, global network that gathers and shares information on biodiversity and ecosystem services, provides tools for data integration and analysis, and contributes to improving environmental management and human well-being.

What are the unique niche and added values of GEO BON?

The unique niche and added values of GEO BON are to:

  • Provide a global, scientifically robust framework for observations on the detection of biodiversity change;
  • Coordinate the data gathering and delivery of biodiversity change information;
  • Ensure long term continuity of operational observations;
  • Provide a small set of innovative and relevant biodiversity observation products;
    • based on the integration of data sets, and
    • most effectively achieved by a global network.

Who are the users of GEO BON?

  • Multilateral Environmental Agreements, such as:


  • Biodiversity and conservation organisations


  • National and subnational biodiversity custodians

conservation agencies, environment ministries

  • Scientific organisations, including:


  • UN organisations and programmes, such as:


  • Researchers, students, citizens

How is GEO BON implemented?

GEO BON gets implemented according to the GEO BON implementation plan released on 22 May 2010, at CBD-SBSTTA 14, on the International Day of Biodiversity.

The GEO BON implementation plan was developed by eight working groups appointed by the Steering Committee of GEO BON (SC-GEO BON), based on the GEO BON concept document presented and approved by the GEO V plenary meeting in Bucharest (2008). This implementation plan, version 1.0, which should be considered as a living document, is the result of a large consultation of various communities, involving several multistakeholder meetings, including:

User Needs workshop, Geneva General concept for GEO BON
2008 Meeting of GEO BON stakeholders, Potsdam   
GEO BON concept document
2010 1st GEO BON All Hands Meeting, Asilomar GEO BON implementation plan
2012 2nd GEO BON All Hands Meeting, Asilomar EBVs, 2015 deliverables


Who implements GEO BON?

The contributors to GEO BON consist mostly of national governmental institutions (Members of GEO), intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, and academic institutions. These contributors collaborate with one another on a voluntary basis to advance the development and dissemination of observations, data, information, analyses and decision-support services on biodiversity.

See list of Contributors

How is GEO BON governed?

GEO BON is governed by a Steering Committee (SC-GEO BON). The SC-GEO BON meets on an annual basis.

The SC-GEO BON reports to GEO, in a number of ways, which include presentations at GEO plenary meetings. Key GEO BON documents are submitted to GEO for approval.

How is GEO BON administered?

GEO BON is administered by a secretariat located at the Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research - iDiv, and funded by the government of Germany. GEO BON also receives in-kind and financial contributions from GEO and from its two lead organisations: DIVERSITAS and NASA. For the period 2010-2013, the secretariat was located in Pretoria, and funded by the government of South Africa.

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