Global Research Highlights 2015: GMBA

Participants in the Perth III: Mountains Of Our Future Earth event pose for a group photo. Photo: GMBA
In the past year, the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment helped to organise the biggest meeting of its kind in mountain research and worked to develop a web interface for the assessment of mountain biodiversity.

More than 20 global research projects have transitioned, or are in the process of transitioning, to Future Earth from three previous global environmental change programmes: the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the International Human Dimension Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) and DIVERSITAS. For years and, in many cases, decades, these projects have generated critical research on the planet's land, oceans and atmosphere and its past and current climate and peoples. They will continue to produce valuable knowledge about the globe under Future Earth.

Future Earth is publishing a series of posts to highlight some of the research and successes that emerged from these projects in the past year. Check back in often to learn about pollution in the Arctic, small-scale fisheries around the globe, worldwide disaster risk and more.

Today, we feature the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) project.

What’s new with GMBA?

In 2015, GMBA co-organised the biggest meeting of its kind in mountain research – Perth III: Mountains of Our Future Earth –  together with the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) and the Centre for Mountain Studies at Perth College. This conference occurs once every five years, and its outcomes play a crucial role in driving research and policy agendas on many levels. Participants sought to assess existing knowledge that may help societies respond to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and support transformation towards sustainability in mountain regions in the coming decades.

The aims were three-fold: to enhance understanding of global change in mountain regions; to refine agendas for collaborative research and action; and to foster international and interdisciplinary interactions between participants, including natural and social scientists and practitioners.

GMBA's societal partners include

GMBA continues to engage with various societal partners with the goal of performing global mountain biodiversity assessments and projections that can inform future decisions. 

The Perth conference, together with the Future Earth Cluster symposium “Global Biodiversity Monitoring,” which GMBA organised, brought together a range of stakeholders. These include the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GIB), and Map of Life (MoL).

What is GMBA doing next?

In 2016, GMBA will launch an interactive web interface for the assessment of mountain biodiversity, called the Mountain Portal. This portal is a user-friendly and efficient informatics tool that makes the exploration and use of mountain biodiversity data by the global mountain biodiversity community, citizen scientists, stakeholders and policy makers much easier.

GMBA will also take another step toward linking different research groups by co-organising the Future Earth cluster symposium “Global Biodiversity Assessment and Monitoring – Science, Data and Infrastructure Needs for IPBES and Beyond.” This meeting aims to improve data sharing and advance international cooperation around tracking changes to the planet’s biodiversity.

Further information

Contact: gmba@ips.unibe.ch

Website: www.gmba.unibe.ch