GEO BON All Hands Meeting 2016

GEO BONs vision is to develop a robust, extensive and interoperable biodiversity observation network covering the major biomes of the globe. The observations derived from this network has to contribute to effective and timely conservation, sustainable use, and mitigation and adaptation decisions regarding the world’s ecosystems, the biodiversity they support, and the services provided.

To be successful building the global observing system, GEO BON needs to identify new opportunities and challenges. Particularly, GEO BON should continue the development of a global biodiversity-monitoring network based on a common set of Essential Biodiversity Variables, measured using compatible methods and reported using harmonized data standards. Therefore, it is important to bring the entire GEO BON community together in 2016, given that the GEO BON community has not met as a whole since December of 2012. Members of the Working Groups and BONs will develop a new GEO BON implementation plan for 2016-2020.

The All Hands Meeting is organized as parallel workshops on specific topics. These workshops may have products (e.g. a guide to monitor an EBV) and/or may lay out a work plan for a working group for 2016-2019. Also, Working Groups and BONs might meet and discuss new cooperative projects and future products. The new implementation plan will require the reorganization of the current GEO BON Working Group structure in order to reflect use needs and societal challenges. Furthermore, the all hands meeting will support cross-cutting projects and research involving more than one WG and BON. The All Hands Meeting will have a duration of 2½ days. The All Hands Meeting is open to everybody active or wanting to be active in GEO BON.


Meeting theme:

Charting the path to an initial operational system by 2025

This broad theme has several facets, including:

  • Addressing questions such as:
  • What are the steps needed for GEO BON to deliver an initial operational system?
  • What deliverables will GEO BON complete for the 2025 system?
  • Who will produce them?
  • How will their development be funded?
  • What are the development schedules and milestones?
  • Refining the list of activities and deliverables (an input to this meeting), and integration and coordination of activities among working groups, national BONs and others
  • Ensuring that the observations needed to produce the deliverables are clearly identified and specified, especially the Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs)

NOTE: “Deliverable” is used very broadly here and can include tangible items (e.g. operational products or services; handbooks) or less-tangibles (e.g. capacity building).

Desired outputs and outcomes of the meeting:

The coming Detailed Implementation Plan will be based on the meeting outputs.
The key outputs/outcomes are:

  • A realistic plan and schedule to develop and complete each deliverable or activity, including milestones (note that deliverables are defined prior to the meeting)
  • A resourcing plan that explains either where resources will come from or what paths will be followed to pursue them (recognizing that not all paths will be successful)
  • Improved coordination and communication bandwidth between WGs, Regional BONs, SBAs, and other partners
  • A cemented sense of the community on which GEO BON is based, and forward momentum for the critical implementation period leading to the 2015 delivery

Pre-meeting activities:

The critical pre-meeting activity is to develop lists of deliverables and define what they are in detail. It is essential that WGs discuss, develop, and finalize these lists prior to the meeting.

  • Each WG must decide what it wants to–and thinks it can–deliver by 2015 (roughly, May 2016–in time to prepare for the July GEO Plenary)
  • This will take the form of a list of candidate deliverables, dependent upon funding
  • Each deliverable should be described in detail (a template will be provided); the observations and other inputs each depends upon are particularly important to include
  • The list should be detailed and deep rather than broad and extensive; it should focus on key items with a high probably of success
  • GEO BON overall must decide what additional deliverables we want to have by 2025, apart from those led by the WGs

These lists of deliverables can include:

Tangibles for the initial operational system (e.g., data products/services and observations/EBVs)