Report Seeks to Improve Impact of Biodiversity-related Data on Decision Making
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The report is the outcome of three years’ work under the BID-REX project, which aims to bridge the gap between biodiversity data and decision making, linking the two to create improved regional development policies for the preservation of nature.

Key messages address the relationship between data providers and users, the multiple functions of data, and the need for constant development of all groups in the data value chain.

March 2019: A recent report titled, ‘Better Data, Better Decisions: Increasing the Impact of Biodiversity Information,’ reveals ten key messages aiming to improve the flow of data from those who collect and manage it, to those who need to use it to inform decision-making processes.

The report is the outcome of three years’ work under the BID-REX project, ‘From Biodiversity Data to Decisions: Enhancing Natural Value Through Improved Regional Development Policies.’ The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and involves a wide range of regional governments across the EU, and academic and research institutions. Supported by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), the project aims to bridge the gap between biodiversity data and decision making, linking the two to create improved regional development policies for the preservation of nature. By demonstrating how the use of available, evidence-based biodiversity data can guide, benefit, and improve decision-making processes, the project also seeks to promote budget prioritization for conservation efforts in funding allocations.

The report encapsulates collective experience and lessons of how data can be best applied to protect our natural capital.

According to the report, the importance of data in supporting biodiversity-related decision making has been acknowledged in many international instruments and processes, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the SDGs. The report’s key messages were developed through five interregional thematic workshops, a range of site visits, and many stakeholder engagements. They include the following:

  • Knowledge of the main data stakeholders and their respective roles and competencies is important in the management, supply, and use of data;
  • Understanding end users’ needs, including those of decision makers, is the crucial first step in the delivery of useful data;
  • Feedback from decision makers provides context, motivation, and guidance;
  • Developing an environment of mutual trust between data providers and users promotes supply and uptake;
  • Data can have many lives: it can be repurposed, adapted, and applied for multiple functions; and
  • Both data sources and policies and tools are constantly changing, and it is therefore important for all groups in the data value chain to continue developing.

UNEP-WCMC’s Matthew Ling, who led the delivery of the report, said: “The report provides a practical and easily applicable reference document. It will be useful for anyone working with biodiversity data – from those collecting and providing the data, right up to end users such as decision makers, needing to call upon and apply data in their day-to-day actions. The regional partners have done an excellent job in encapsulating their collective experience and lessons of how data can be best applied to protect our natural capital.” [Publication: Better data, better decisions: increasing the impact of biodiversity information] [UNEP-WCMC Press Release]

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