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The GEO Handbook on Biodiversity Observation Networks

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Contributions from 100+ authors from all over the world, including both scientists and practitioners
Includes practical suggestions on how to develop biodiversity monitoring programs
Covers approaches from in-situ observations to remote sensing, to modelling biodiversity and reporting

By: Michele Walters (Editor), Robert J Scholes (Editor)

33 colour & 11 b/w illustrations, 4 colour & 16 b/w tables


Hardback | Nov 2016 | #228222 | ISBN-13: 9783319272863
Available for pre-order: Due Nov 2016 Details
NHBS Price: £44.99 $55/€51 approx

About this book

Biodiversity observation systems are almost everywhere inadequate to meet local, national and international (treaty) obligations. As a result of alarmingly rapid declines in biodiversity in the modern era, there is a strong, worldwide desire to upgrade our monitoring systems, but little clarity on what is actually needed and how it can be assembled from the elements which are already present. The Geo Handbook on Biodiversity Observation Networks intends to provide practical guidance to broadly-defined biodiversity observation networks at all scales, but predominantly the national scale and higher. This is a practical how-to book with substantial policy relevance. It will mostly be used by technical specialists with a responsibility for biodiversity monitoring to establish and refine their systems. It is written at a technical level, but one that is not discipline-bound: it should be intelligible to anyone in the broad field with a tertiary education.


1. The Biodiversity Data Impediment to a Sustainable World (Working in a Networked World)
2. Essential Biodiversity Variables
3. Stratification and Terrestrial Ecosystem Observations
4. Ecosystem Services
5. Species Observations
6. Monitoring Changes in Genetic Diversity
7. Marine and Coastal Systems
8. Biodiversity Observations for Freshwater Ecosystems
9. Remote Sensing for Biodiversity
10. Involving Citizen Scientists in Biodiversity Observation
11. Biodiversity Modelling
12. Cyber-Architecture
13. Using Data for Decision-Making: From Observations To Indicators and Other Policy Tools
14. Capacity Building in Biodiversity Monitoring - Case Studies

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Michele Walters is a senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa and trained as a conservation ecologist at the University of Stellenbosch. After spending four years teaching zoology at Walter Sisulu University she joined the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) where she was involved in a number of projects dealing with medicinal, invasive and succulent plants of southern Africa. Following this she was the Executive Officer for the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) and ran its project office from the CSIR's Pretoria campus.

Robert J. Scholes, a systems ecologist, is leader of the ecosystem processes and dynamics research group, and a Fellow of the CSIR. He has been employed by the CSIR since 1992. He trained under Professor Brian Walker at the University of the Witwatersrand and Professor Pedro Sanchez at North Carolina State University. He has over 25 years of experience in many parts of Africa and has published widely in the fields of savanna ecology and global change, including in popular and scientific books. He has been involved in several high-profile environmental assessments and contributes to the formulation of national environmental policy. He is or has been a member of several steering committees of international research programmes, including the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and the Global Climate Observing System, and serves as a convening lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was chairperson of the Global Terrestrial Observing System (2001-4), a member of the GEO Implementation Plan Task Team, board member of the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, and co-chair of the Conditions and Trend Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He is currently a member of the steering committees of Diversitas and a member of the South African National Parks Board. He is a Fellow of the South African Academy and the Royal Society of South Africa, member of several professional societies and serves on the editorial board of numerous journals.

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