Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

Forest scene

Soil and forests are major cross-cutting issues in the discussions on biodiversity© Fred Fokkelman

Nagoya (JP) - 18/10/10 - 29/10/10

COP 10 - Convention on Biological Diversity


The 10th Conference of the Parties (COP-10) to the Convention on Biological Diversity started today in Nagoya, Japan. At the two-week long meeting the international community, including the EU, will be striving to agree on a post-2010 policy framework for preserving biodiversity. Scientists from the JRC Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) are taking part in this event to present their findings on soil biodiversity as well as on forest fragmentation and green infrastructure.

Soil has been identified as a cross-cutting issue, since it provides an important mitigation and adaptation role for climate change, it stores a large amount of biodiversity and it is typically a major target of desertification processes. The first ever European Atlas of Soil Biodiversity, presented by JRC-IES at the conference, brings to the public view the whole range of life in the soil and the crucial role it plays in maintaining other ecosystems.

On forest fragmentation and green infrastructure, JRC scientists and their partners from the University of Madrid and the US Forest Service will present the EU-wide forest maps and provide details on the methodologies for analysing forest pattern- and changes on forest patch connectivity over time.

Equally on show in Nagoya, with a dedicated side event is the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA). This is a biodiversity information system currently developed as a set of interoperable web services at the JRC in collaboration with other international organisations, including GBIF (The Global Biodiversity Information Facility), UNEP-WCMC (UNEP's World Conservation Monitoring Centre), Birdlife International and RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, UK). DOPA is not only designed to assess the state and pressure of Protected Areas (PAs) and to prioritize them accordingly, to support decision making and fund allocation processes, but it is also conceived as a monitoring and ecological forecasting service, through e-Habitat, DOPA’s core web processing service. The use of open standards and of open source programming languages for the development of the core functionalities of the system are expected to encourage the participation of the scientific community beyond the current partnerships and to favour the sharing of such an observatory which could be installed anywhere. The side-event at COP-10 in Nagoya will include presentations and demonstrations of DOPA with a focus on African protected areas, followed by discussions and Q&A by lead contributors to the DOPA.

AT COP-10, the JRC is a partner of te Commission's Environment Directorate-General in the Rio Conventions’ Ecosystems and Climate Change Pavilion, a collaborative outreach activity to highlight activities that link biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, sustainable land management and efforts to combat desertification, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The multiple benefits derived through these activities and their contribution towards sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals are also presented.