The UN Biodiversity Lab 

The UN Biodiversity Lab is a partnership framework, convened by the UN Environment (UNEP), UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to build capacity for countries reporting on biodiversity targets to utilize spatial data in their planning. Read more about the UN Biodiversity Lab in the story map below. 

Biodiversity Conservation Through Spatial Data 

Biological diversity is the root of ecosystem functioning and the ecosystem services which are essential for life on earth. Although biodiversity contributes to food security, human health, livelihoods and economic development, it continues to be lost at an astounding rate. In 2010 in Nagoya, Japan, the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2010-2011. This included the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, 20 targets which aim to inspire action in support of biodiversity conservation. Part of the commitment to the 2011-2010 Strategic Plan was national implementation through updating and revising National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), and reporting on achieving these targets biennially in the National Reports.

 A recent study by the UN Secretary-General called data “the lifeblood of decision making” in regards to sustainable development. While maps and spatial data were present in 85% of the 5th National Reports (5NR), a study by the UNDP determined that the 80% of 5th National Reports did not contain actionable maps, but did contain potentially actionable maps. 
UN Biodiversity Lab: Howler Monkey Ecuador
To support countries in turning geographic information into actionable tools for decision making, the need emerged for a platform where spatial data could be easily accessed and analyzed. The UN Biodiversity Lab was born specifically out of the spatial data needs of countries reporting to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

MapX Support

Between 2018 and 2020 MapX worked with UNDP's Global Programme on Nature for Development to develop a customized spatial analysis tool to support conservation decision-making across the globe. National teams that are engaged in biodiversity have access to a secure spatial data sandbox to support evidence-based decision making.

The specific deliverables were: 
  • Compile the global spatial data layers from existing sources into a single, compatible database;
  • Broker the best available scientific data from premier research institutions;
  • Construct an accessible online tool that allows policy makers to access to all global data layers and additional layers on a regional or per-country basis, as well as user-friendly functions;
  • Create data sandboxes, secure private data pools in which users can collaborate and co-design on spatial data projects;
    Improve the existing MapX functions and tailor them to the objectives of this partnership.
  • Provide remote support and guidance to WCMC counterparts in ingesting geospatial data and metadata in MapX and administering their project space.

Story Map: Introducing the UN Biodiversity Lab 

Project Profile

Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity
Launch of the UN Biodiversity Lab occured on July 4, 2018.
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