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Informing biodiversity restoration policies



A well-functioned biodiversity monitoring and data management system is critical for evaluation of disruption of ecosystems, tracking the trends and changes at the global, national and regional levels for the assessment of the conservation and restoration policy effectiveness. 

Biodiversity monitoring needs to be integrated with the national biodiversity management system as a central tool to inform decision-makers and the public. 

Biodiversity is central to Sustainable Development Goals 14 (life on land) and 15 (life below water) and closely linked to most other Goals. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the global indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2017. This includes a detailed list of indicators for Sustainable Development Goals 14 and 15.

The fifth webinar focused on informing biodiversity restoration policies. The webinar’s agenda was to discuss the Pan-European perspective on the 15 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and review countries’ experiences regarding SDG target 15.5 with current priority concerns and actions. The fifth webinar gathered the following participants: European Environmental Agency (EEA), Armenia, Austria, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Environment Agency Austria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC), REC Caucasus, Tajikistan, United Nations Environment Programme, and United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Thematic Overview

biodiversity policy brief


Biodiversity monitoring and data management


Biodiversity monitoring and data management are important elements for national, regional and international policy making and implementation. These crucial components support the interested stakeholders, including policymakers, to take the right decisions in terms of biodiversity control, management, and conservation. 

Identified Challenges

Bosnia and Hercegovina

Absence of the developed capacities for monitoring, data collection, and processing (lack of human capacities and knowledge on reporting).

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Convention on Biological Diversity Need for strong partnership with support from major global data providers.
Lack of national ownership and national buy-in of the indicators.
Global indicators are not fit-for-purpose for national ownership.
Monitoring framework based on what data exists at the global level as opposed to what data we need at the national level.
Kazakhstan Need for equipping the material and technical base of forestry and environmental institutions. North Macedonia
North Macedonia Need for establishment of continuous monitoring.
Lack of resources (human and financial) for monitoring network.
Lack of data (national inventory) for the current status of the species and habitats in protected areas.
Convention on Biological Diversity

For more information, please see the presentations on the right

Good practices

Albania - Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT)

In the framework of this project, a series of activities for the conservation of biodiversity have been carried out and the relevant documents have been produced. For instance, the management of protected areas in border region of Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia in monitoring of endangered species was supported. Besides, there was carried out a preliminary assessment of human-large carnivore conflicts and associated livestock husbandry practices in the Albanian and Macedonian sides of the Prespa Basin. A local satellite office in Albania was opened. From June to September 2020, the Albanian Centre of Environmental Governance (ACEG) organised a Youth Academy on nature-based tourism in Prespa, Albania. For more information, please see the presentation of Albania

Austria – the Austrian Biodiversity Monitoring

The biodiversity monitoring enables monitoring of status of biodiversity in Austrian cultural landscapes. Besides, it allows the evaluation of biodiversity targets (e.g. CBD reporting). The Austrian Biodiversity Monitoring focuses on the national scale, uses the field surveys of species, biotope types and assessment of EBVs by remote sensing. The biodiversity monitoring is carried out every 3-5 years and is compatible with existing programs of partial coverage. For more information, please see the presentation of Austria.

BUND Department Green Belt - Danube Transnational Programme

The project duration is June 2018 – November 2021 with overall budget of the programme is 2 086 654.10 €. It gathers 11 partners from 8 countries +14 Associated Strategic partners from 10 countries with a BUND Department Green Belt as a lead partner. The main objectives of the project are to contribute to the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) by further development of the connectivity of protected areas along the Green Belt in the Danube Region as backbone of EU Green infrastructure. Besides, the project aims at identification of ecological corridors between existing Natura 2000 areas and other protected areas along the EGB in the Danube Region and maintain and enhance ecosystems and their services. Finally, it is meant to improve capacities and the level of trans-national and trans-boundary cooperation between GOs, NGOs and on policy level and to support the aim of the EGB-Initiative to nominate the European Green Belt as UNESCO Worldheritage. For more information, please see the presentation of the BUND Department.

Environment Agency Austria (EAA) - Project on eDNA

The EAA project uses a new method, which is around 20 years old, and which is called environmental DNA. So, the genetical information from organisms in the environment scattered in the environment, which is the base of this method.  It was found out that every organism is losing cellular DNA.  The process of eDNA includes eDNA-Sampling, DNA Extraction, DNA Analysis, Result, Astatic Water body type- “Sutten”. Laboratory processes established for on Site water sampling - water body type „Sutten“ (shallow, stagnant and turbid water), extraction of DNA, detection of the rare and very hidden living fish Weather loach (Misgurnus Fossilis). The environmental DNA (eDNA) is using a new molecular-biological approach supporting  biodiversity monitoring. This method is advantageous compared to traditional morphotaxonomy-based methods, because it is very sensitive (detection of low abundant species), efficient (all taxa in one sample) – „Metabarcoding“, non-invasive, fast (time saving) – expanding the areal coverage and there are relatively low costs associated with it. For more information, please see the presentation of EAA.

Georgia - Forest Information and Monitoring System (FIMS)

This is a platform that will be used at the national level for all forest data. One of the most important modules of this system is the communication of the obtained results, which includes reporting, publications, geospatial data, GIS maps.

National Biodiversity Monitoring System                  

National biodiversity monitoring system is a little bit different from the forest information system. The national biodiversity monitoring system is the framework, which is based on the pressure state response frame. The identified indicators will follow this frame. The red indicators are the indicators of pressure, the green ones are state indicators, the blue ones are the response indicators. For more information, please see the presentation of Georgia.

Group on Earth Observations - Land Degradation Neutrality (GEO LDN) Initiative

The Land Degradation Neutrality Initiative is launched in 2018 in Kyoto, Japan, and is aimed at bringing together data providers and governments. The Initiative makes available necessary data in order for the interested stakeholders to monitor the state of the affaires and to address the identified gaps. The more information is accessible at, also, please see the presentation of European Environment Agency.

Kazakhstan - Geoportal of the Committee for Forestry and Wildlife

In the framework of the geoportal, based on remote sensing data, the work is being done on the space monitoring of forest resources in Kazakhstan and geological services have been developed for the Forestry and Wildlife Committee Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The geoportal helps to control, manage, plan, and monitor of the State Forest Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan, including wood logging and the burned areas. It processes the images to the L3 and L5 level (orthographic mosaic) to create forest management plans and maps of the State Forest Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Finally, it is used for detection, monitoring and control over the forest and steppe fires of the State Forest Fund of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Program for creating electronic forests

Mapinfo Professional is the main programs in the process of production of planning and cartographic materials (forest maps) in the forestry system. It enables direct access to remote data bases, such as SQL Server. There is a possibility to create marginal notes for any map layers, changing map projections on the display during the digitization process, 3D-Maps, thematic raster maps and prism maps. Besides, it is possible to put raster images under vector maps, transfer the contents of MapInfo windows to other programs through the OLE mechanism, high-quality printing and exporting capabilities. For more information, please see the presentation of Kazakhstan.

National & International reporting - including SDGs


National or international reporting is an integral part in tracking progress towards the targets of such important global policy frameworks as United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework or Bern Convention. National or international reporting, including towards SDGs, enables countries to identify existing gaps and inform public policy to address these gaps.

Identified Challenges

Bosnia and Herzegovina Need for newly updated set of indicators to be adopted at the country level (adoption process). Bosnia and Herzegovina
Danube Transnational Programme Need for a comprehensive, Europe-wide data set. Danube Transnational Programme
Convention on Biological Diversity 68% of environment-related SDG indicators lack enough data to assess global progress.
Few data for vulnerable population or geospatially.
Few indicators related to environmental state and trends, people or SCP.
Convention on Biological Diversity
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification Lack of compatible national data.
Gap in data flow from sector ministries to national voluntary reviews.
United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.

For more information, please see the presentations on the right

Good practices

United Nations to Combat Desertification – Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Programme

Within the programme 127 countries committed to set LDN targets and 104 countries have already set LDN targets. The Land Degradation Neutrality contributes to the global restoration commitments. Through the LDN target- setting programme, countries committed to restoring about 450 million hectares out of a global total of 1 billion hectare (High estimate) (PBL, 2020). The LDN commitments place emphasis on improved land management and rehabilitation measures, which aligns with the LDN response hierarchy to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation (PBL, 2020).

Trends.Earth tool

is a free and open-source tool for monitoring indicators of land change, and in particular desertification, land degradation, and drought. Trends.Earth supports monitoring progress towards achieving SDG target 15.3, calculation of indicators following Good Practice Guidance and using global data sources, integration of locally available data, summarizing data for reporting to UNCCD and local data ownership. For more information, please see the presentation of the United Nations to Combat Desertification.

Approach to public biodiversity information - including the availability of disaggregated data


Data play an important role in promotion of biological conservation as it was recognized by multiple global policy frameworks such as Convention on Biological Diversity or EU Biodiversity Strategy. A lot of important information on biodiversity is publicly made available online, however, often this kind of information is complex and not always easily understandable for non-experts. Environmental data are a powerful tool to stop degradation of biodiversity.

Identified Challenges

Convention on the Biological Diversity:

Difficult to access national disaggregation of global indicators.

For more information, please see the presentation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Good practices

European Union - Copernicus

It is the European Union's Earth observation programme. The programme aims at providing all European citizens with updated environmental information on the free and open basis. The data is collected from from satellites and ground-based, airborne, and seaborne measurement systems. For more information, please see the presentations of the European Environment Agency.


1) EU4 Sevan project with GIZ and UNDP

The aim of the project is to enhance the environmental protection of Lake Sevan and also to raise awareness through the media.

2) Digitalized the amateur fishing and hunting permits by creating an online management system.

The project aims at creating more transparency during the process, more efficient from the management point of view, also allocating less resources for those processes.

3) Mobile application for red book of Armenia (list of endangered species)

The main objective of the project is to create awareness on the species of flora and fauna in Armenia to mitigate certain risks of overexploitation of these species.

4) Website development and launching to enhance people’s experience in protected areas and help plan their trip.

5) Booklet development for the specially protected areas of nature aiming for their promotion.

6) Online lessons about the specially protected areas of nature for 11-15 years old schoolchildren

The online lessons are aimed at raising awareness about the importance of the protected areas of nature and increasing curiosity on the subject.

For more information, please see the presentation of Armenia.

Biodiversity conservation & management efforts


Biodiversity conservation is vital for a proper functioning of every society, as it has a direct effect on the human well-being and economic performance. Besides, biodiversity conservation enables to promote sustainable development and to mitigate the costs and effects of the climate change. Adequate biodiversity management contributes to the economic growth and stability.

Identified Challenges

Danube Transnational Programme

Need for strengthened network of protected areas by enhancing ecological corridors along the European Green Belt in the Danube Region.
Focus of the future nature conservation measures should mainly focus on preserving the existing conditions to improve the ecological EGB network.
Prevention of converting valuable habitats to non-sustainable forms of land-use.
Nature conservation measures to be focused on reinstallation of functional elements for the ecological network and restauration of functionality of the existing habitats, considering existing valuable landscape elements as well

Danube Transnational Programme
European Environment Agency Better tracking the restoration effort. European Environment Agency
Kazakhstan Preservation of flora and fauna.
Need for funding of the performance of environmental protection, scientific and environmental education activities.
North Macedonia Re-valorization and valorization of the old and new proposed protected areas and their proclamation. North Macedonia.

For more information, please see the presentations on the right

Good practices

Albania - Prespa Ohrid Nature Trust (PONT)

The Trust was created in 2015 to provide long term financing for the Prespa Ohrid ecoregion – a transboundary area of Albania, Greece and North Macedonia. It combines endowment and sinking elements. PONT was capitalized with funding from MAVA Foundation, German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German development bank (KfW). The overall objective of the grant is to improve management effectiveness of Prespa National Park. Building upon the findings of the management plan, a three-year operational plan was developed to attain the management objectives set out in the management plan, with the activities organized in six functional areas: (1) Park Administration; (2) Research and Monitoring; (3) Habitat and Species Conservation; (4) Rural Development; (5) Social and Cultural Assets; and (6) Education and Information. For more information, please see the presentation of Albania.


1) The Support Programme for Protected Areas

The main programme objective is to Aim: Improving natural resources and protected areas management in the southern part, in parallel improving the socio-economic situation of adjacent communities

2) Armenia joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature & People Initiative (30% of the planet's land and ocean by 2030)

The aim of the Initiative is to promote the “30 by 30” global conservation target.

3) "10 million Trees" environmental pan- Armenian initiative.

4) “Restoration of Riparian Zones in Armenia” with GIZ

For more information, please see the presentation of Armenia.


Questions & Answers

Question: Are the habitats maps prepared in Copernicus by 10x10 km grid?

Answer: The habitat maps are not prepared yet by 10x10 km grid. However, all Copernicus land monitoring services are ongoing a huge technical development, including green land cover. The 100m grid system is currently under development. It is called CLC+ Core. It is to derive tailor made LC/LU products (so called "Instances"), on a 100m grid level, based on a on-demand combination of available (EAGLE harmonized) LC/LU information. This allows to combine previously non harmonized datasets in new ways, in particular LC information coming from CLMS products with specific land use (LU) information from the countries.

Question: Does Copernicus technically allow to aggregate data from Corine into EUNIS?

Answer: This crosswalk between green land cover and the EUNIS classification helpful. Since the 2012 map has shown that the base was Corine cover. Within Copernicus, there will be a high-resolution layer on phenology.

Question: Why is BiH excluded from the Greenbelt?

Answer: BiH is not included in the Greenbelt, because the Greenbelt has 25 km buffer zone, and BiH is not located on the Greenbelt. 

Question: If there will be non-EU countries to be included into the EEA State of Nature report?

Answer: There is a plan to include non-EU-countries (partner countries). In the next few years (4-5 years), EEA will be working with the partner countries through the Emerald Network, including data collection, therefore the EEA can produce the conservation assessment for Pan-European region.

Question: How close are the Parties to agreeing on the monitoring framework on biodiversity?

Answer: The monitoring framework and the global biodiversity framework itself can only be agreed at a meeting of the convention of the parties. A convention of the parties is currently scheduled for October 2021. Some of the indicators aren't quite ready yet. Besides, there are differences in views on how those indicators should come up in the framework.

Question: Are the new CBD post-2020 indicators in line with the BIP indicators, SEBI indicators and EEA indicators?

Answer: Most of the indicators are certainly in line with the existing processes. For the BIP, it was the global data providers, who were measuring biodiversity in the last framework, so many related indicators have been maintained. The monitoring was done at the global level, now CBD is trying to see this transition from global level monitoring to national level monitoring.

Question: Is the Good Practice Guidance report on the indicator 15.3.1 is available in Russian?

Answer: For the moment, this guidance exist in English. It is 180-pages technical guidance. Out of this guidance there will be shorter versions prepared, which will consist of the step-by-step guidance how to calculate this indicator. And these short versions will be available in 6 UN languages.                                                                      

Question: How difficult is it to generate that map of land degradation? Can we use Trends.Earth to generate this map?

Answer: The map on the land degradation is prepared by the Conservation international. The tool that helped to prepare the map is currently being enhanced in line with the new Good Practice Guidance on SDG indicator 15.3.1. So, the easiest way to get a map for the Pan-European region is to contact the Conservation international. They would be happy to support in generating it, because for them it is a very straightforward process. The tool translator will be available with the older global defaults data very soon. The analysis can be done at the national level, at the regional level and at the global level. All this the calculation are explained step by step in a tutorial, so it can easily be done.

Question: What are the reasons behind the degrade landscape for example in Ukraine, Russia, and Uzbekistan?

Answer: The land degradation of the areas of Ukraine, South of Russia, Kazakhstan and etc is mainly driven by the land productivity. It is a negative trend of land productivity, net primer productivity. Of course, it should be validated and interpreted by each country