Communicating Biological Diversity

The Convention on Biological Diversity in the 21st year - communicating a basic understanding of life on earth

The Biodiversity Heritage Library for Europe (BHL-Europe) project is coming to an end this year. We would like to celebrate the achievements of the project, but also would like to broaden our horizon. As the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is one of the driving forces of the BHL-Europe project, we would like to review the progress implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 20 years after its adoption in 1992. Therefore, BHL-Europe is organising a one day symposium on 4 June 2012 in collaboration with the German National Focal Point of the Global Taxonomy Initiative (GTI) and the Network-Forum on Biodiversity Research Germany (NeFo).

As stated in the preamble of the CBD, the contracting parties are “Aware of the general lack of information and knowledge regarding biological diversity and of the urgent need to develop scientific, technical and institutional capacities to provide the basic understanding upon which to plan and implement appropriate measures.” The goal of the symposium is to review with biologists, computer scientists, publishers, students, and other stakeholders the status of the information and knowledge space for taxonomists and the capacities to provide the basic understanding on biological diversity. Eventually, we would like to identify the needs and possible actions for the near future to support the further implementation of the CBD towards a sustainable development of the environment and the biological diversity. The symposium is organised in three panels reflecting on the three articles of the convention that mainly refer to the work of our community:
  • Identification and monitoring (Article 7)
  • Research and training (Article 12)
  • Exchange of information (Article 17)

Each panel session will be introduced by a key note speaker to give an overview of the topic and to elaborate on the relevance of the CBD article for the community and the status of the implementation. In four talks following the keynote we would like to highlight projects, initiatives or developments that help in one way or the other with the implementation of the CBD. It is expected that speakers present their work, but also give their view on the goals of the CBD and on what needs to be done in this field to accelerate research.

Meeting venue
Jerusalem Church, Lindenstrasse 85, 10969 Berlin
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Agenda of the day

09:00-09:30 Arrival, registration and coffee
09:30-09:40 Welcome, introduction and housekeeping [Henning Scholz]
09:40-09:45 Welcome and NeFo [Katrin Vohland]
09:45-10:20 20 years CBD - Keynote [Thomas Koetz, EC]
10:20-10:50 Gregor Hagedorn: Identification is key

10:50-11:25 Coffee Break

11:30-12:15 Identification and monitoring - Highlight talks
  • Mark-Oliver Rödel (MfN): BIOTA – a international, interdisciplinary biodiversity project in Africa
  • Daniel Zitterbart (AWI, Anymals+plants, biodiversity in your palm
  • Christoph Häuser (MfN, EU-BON / GEO-BON)
12:15-12:30 Identification and monitoring – Discussion & summary

12:30-13:30 Lunch

13:30-14:00 Poster presentation; for the list of posters, see here:

14:00-14:35 Research and training - Keynote - Johannes Vogel: Living with Biodiversity
14:35-15:20 Research and training - Highlight talks
  • Isabella Van De Velde (RBINS): DEST – training future taxonomists and fueling their passion
  • Irina Brake (NHM, Vibrant): Scratchpads as a research and publication platform
  • Antonio Valdecasas     (CSIC): The weakest link - new models to assess biodiversity researchers
15:20-15:35 Research and training – Discussion & summary

15:35-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00-16:35 Exchange of information - Keynote -Donald Hobern: Sharing biodiversity information – what have we learned?  
16:35-17:20 Exchange of information - Highlight talks
  • Wouter Addink (ETI, CoL): Catalogue of Life - a Virtual Research Community to exchange data for enumerating the extent of life on earth
  • Elycia Wallis (Museum Victoria, Melbourne)
  • Marie Vandewalle (UFZ, BiodiversityKnowledge)
17:20-17:35 Exchange of information – Discussion & summary
17:35-17:45 Wrap-up and closure

19:00-22:00 Under the dinosaurs - reception in MfN

Meeting point for reception:
Dinosaur Hall through main entrance
Museum für Naturkunde, Invalidenstrasse 43, 10115 Berlin
Google Maps:
Maps will be available with the meeting package

CBD Articles we refer to for the symposium (for the full CBD see categories set down in Annex I:

Article 7. Identification and Monitoring
Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate,in particular for the purposes of Articles 8 to 10:
(a) Identify components of biological diversity important for its conservation and sustainable use having regard to the indicative list of categories set down in Annex I:
(b) Monitor, through sampling and other techniques, the components of biological diversity identified pursuant to subparagraph (a) above, paying particular attention to those requiring urgent conservation measures and those which offer the greatest potential for sustainable use;
(c) Identify processes and categories of activities which have or are likely to have significant adverse impacts on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and monitor their effects through sampling and other techniques; and
(d) Maintain and organize, by any mechanism data, derived from identification and monitoring activities pursuant to subparagraphs (a), (b) and (c) above.

Article 12. Research and TrainingThe Contracting Parties, taking into account the special needs of developing countries, shall:
(a) Establish and maintain programmes for scientific and technical education and training in measures for the identification, conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and its components and provide support for such education and training for the specific needs of developing countries:
(b) Promote and encourage research which contributes to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, particularly in developing countries, inter alia, in accordance with decisions of the Conference of the Parties taken in consequence of recommendations of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice: and
(c) In keeping with the provisions of Articles 16. 13 and 20. promote and cooperate in the use of scientific advances in biological diversity research in developing methods for conservation and sustainable use of biological resources.

Article 17. Exchange of Information
1. The Contracting Parties shall facilitate the exchange of information, from all publicly available sources, relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking into account the special needs of developing countries.
2. Such exchange of information shall include exchange of results of technical, scientific and socio-economic research, as well as information on training and surveying programmes, specialized knowledge, indigenous and traditional knowledge as such and in combination with the technologies referred to in Article 16, paragraph 1. It shall also, where feasible, include repatriation of information.

Meeting venue
Jerusalem Church, Lindenstrasse 85, 10969 Berlin
Google Maps: