Author: Aidin Niamir

The main objective of the workpackage 4 is to deliver workflows that utilize the Copernicus products so that Essential Variables (EVs) and Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) can be evaluated from global to local spatial scales over time. EVs and EBVs will then be linked to indicators focused on ecosystem structure and species composition that monitor the implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. Besides, the availability and sufficiency of EBVs to inform decision-makers and the science-policy initiatives will be evaluated. This workpackage aims to improve and put emphasis on availability and open access of the biodiversity and ecosystem functioning information systems through variables and indicators that capture the causes and consequences of a process. Information systems of interest are Biodiversity Information System for Europe (BISE), Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES), Operational Potential of Ecosystem Research Applications (OPERAs), and the European Biodiversity Observation Network (EUBON). Finally, the workflows’ products will be used as inputs and assessment datasets of process-based models, which are highlighted as powerful tools to monitor ecosystem services and functioning.

There are 7 institutions working on 5 tasks of this workpackage. CREAF leads the task that provides the team with the data landscape of EVs for Biodiversity and Ecosystems. GFZ and CNR in parallel are leading the tasks on developing biodiversity indicators such as habitat types and quality indicators, and developing ecosystem indicators such as ecosystem resilience measure respectively. Meanwhile SGN focuses on earth observation products for driving and evaluating models of ecosystem goods and services. MFN through the course of stakeholder dialogues and expert workshops reviews the exciting policy and reporting need regarding biodiversity and ecosystem data and knowledge. UNIGE then links the outcomes of the tasks to the workpackage 7 and feeds the workflows into the GEOEssential Dashboard.

We have recently presented the proof of concept of a workflow for the Sustainable Development Goal 15; which concerns progress in sustainably using the Earth’s terrestrial species and ecosystems and trends in land productivity and biodiversity loss. In particular, we have focused on an indicator that illustrates the spatial changes in the proportion of land cover in Urban and Cultivated Areas over time. This workflow is based on the ESA CCI Land Cover high resolution temporal global dataset.

The work package 4 is led by Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Institute in Germany. For enquires and collaborations please contact Aidin Niamir (

Fig 1: Anthropogenic change from natural cover to cultivated area. Vineyard in Tuscany Italy 

Fig 2: Changes in the proportion of land cover in Urban and Cultivated Areas between 1992 and 2015