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Peter Costigan, Defra

Biodiversity monitoring: policy needs and funding support

Abstract

2010 is an exciting time of change and development for biodiversity monitoring. There is a continuing growth in the realisation of the importance of biodiversity both nationally and internationally, and a growing demand for information about the status of biodiversity, its value to society, and information about the drivers of change. At the same time there is the challenge of a much tighter economic situation which will limit the availability of public funding. There is a need to explore innovative ways of obtaining the information we need as efficiently as possible. Some of this will probably be delivered through closer collaboration between the different organisations involved in monitoring, helped by the recent work to develop a relatively comprehensive description of all the publicly-funded biodiversity monitoring which goes on in the UK. There are also opportunities to exploit innovative new technologies, such as the latest aspects of Earth Observation, and improved data handling, interpretive and statistical techniques. We need to find ways of engaging a broader range of society both in collecting biodiversity information, and understanding its relevance to our lives.

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