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Bundesamt für Naturschutz


In times of increasing human impacts on biodiversity, the systematic recording of its status, changes and the causes of its loss is becoming more and more important. The NMZB   provides information about the most important terminology, legal foundations and selected biodiversity-related data portals.

The NMZB uses the following definition for biodiversity based on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): It is the diversity of life on Earth, encompassing all organisms, species and populations, the genetic variation among them, and their communities and ecosystems.

Due to the multitude of questions concerning the state of and changes in biodiversity, there are numerous requirements for biodiversity monitoring. Different definitions therefore focus on different characteristics. The following definition was developed by the NMZB's Principal Expert Committee principle expert committee and serves as our working basis: Biodiversity monitoring is a systematic, repeated and standardised detection of the status of the components of biodiversity. In order to be able to derive causes, factors that influence changes in the state of biodiversity should be recorded. On a regular basis monitoring provides data continuously or within a defined time period, using methods that are comparable across time and space. The generated data covers the monitored aspect of biodiversity in a representative way in space and/or time.

Both the protection and the monitoring of the status and changes in biodiversity are regulated by law. There are various national and international regulations in which biodiversity monitoring is anchored nationwide, thus providing the legal framework for the work of the NMZB.

The data obtained in biodiversity monitoring and biodiversity research are the scientific basis for reliable statements on the state of and changes in biodiversity. From that, statistically robust trends can be derived and suitable measures for biodiversity protection can be developed. For an effective reuse of data and information on biodiversity and its influencing factors, it is necessary that these are collected in good quality, well documented, permanently secured, findable and accessible. Data and information portals can help to improve the availability of data. The NMZB aims to promote the accessibility of data by taking into account the FAIR data principles.

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FAQ - Frequently asked questions and answers

The NMZB is not a research institution itself and does not conduct its own ground research. However, an important task of the Monitoring Centre is the development of an overall concept for a nationwide biodiversity monitoring. In addition, it supports the transfer of knowledge and data in particular. For example, current research findings are incorporated into the work of the Monitoring Centre. Science, in turn, can use the data obtained through biodiversity monitoring for its research. The Monitoring Centre also supports developing and advancing of monitoring methods by ensuring that existing long-term data series are comparable. An overview of the research initiatives of other institutions and agencies can be found on the website profiles. The profiles are available in German only.

The aim of the NMZB is to make monitoring data and technical information more easily accessible and transparently available. The NMZB does not collect any data itself. It is planned that after the establishment phase, the NMZB will successively present data from the various monitoring projects and sources in a summarised form and link to the sources accordingly. The website is currently under construction. An overview of the current projects can already be found as profiles on the website. As far as possible, we have linked the data availability, the most direct access link and the contact persons or institutions externally for you in our profiles. The profiles are available in German only. You will also find information on data management on our expertise website.

No. The practical implementation of monitoring projects and in particular the collection of data in situ is not the task of the Monitoring Centre. The respective monitoring projects are not controlled by the Monitoring Centre, but remain under the sovereignty of the responsible ministries or the federal states and professional societies. An overview can be found on the website profiles. The profiles are available in German only.

On the NMZB website you will find profiles of the various monitoring projects (monitoring programmes, research initiatives, biodiversity surveys). A filter option helps you to find the appropriate fact sheets. Here you will also find contact details. Further information on monitoring can be found under Expertise. The pages are continuously being expanded to include further information.

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