Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs)

Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) are measurements required for study, reporting, and management of biodiversity change.

EBVs facilitate the harmonization of existing monitoring schemes and guide the implementation of new monitoring schemes, especially in gap areas where information on biodiversity change is still very sparse. Examples of essential variables are the allelic diversity of selected wild and domestic species, the population abundances for groups of species representative of some taxa (e.g. birds), the three-dimensional structure of habitats, and the nutrient retention rate in sensitive ecosystems. These variables can be measured or modeled globally, by combining satellite remote sensing observations with local observations obtained by citizens scientists, and local, national and regional organizations. EBVs are crucial for robust estimation of the indicators to assess progress towards the 2020 targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. They can also provide the foundation for developing scenarios of the future of biodiversity under different policy and management options.

To be broadly applicaple EBVs must be:

  • scalable
  • temporally sensitive
  • feasible
  • relevant


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