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Technical Webinar Series
Spatial Data: Best Practices Around the World


All Resources Available! 

We hope you enjoyed our recent webinars on best practices in using spatial data for biodiversity monitoring and reporting around the world (May- July 2019). Biodiversity practitioners and policymakers from 14 countries shared their experiences using spatial data and the UN Biodiversity Lab. Speakers are from Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Haiti, Indonesia,  Iraq, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and Viet Nam. 

Below, you can read about the webinar topics and speakers. You can also go to our Youtube channel to watch the recordings, or visit the NBSAP Forum to download the presentations, share your thoughts, and engage in related discussions.

Webinar Recordings 

Recording #1 | 28 May 2019:
Using National Spatial Data Platforms
to Guide Policies on Nature

Presented by Susana Rodríguez-Buritica, Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute; Melibea Gallo; Rafael Monge, CENIGA;  Eugenia Arguedas, Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica; Pisca Tias, Good Growth Partnership; Roger Zambrano, Ministry of Environment of Peru

Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Peru monitor biodiversity status using national spatial data platforms. These platforms are also used by decision-makers to asses the effectiveness of measures to conserve biodiversity and to design data-informed policies. In this webinar, speakers from Colombia, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Peru described how they are using use national spatial data platforms to monitor their progress to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and help develop national reports to the Convention on Biological Diversity. 

Colombia explored how environmental decision-making is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute's Biodiversity Observation Network. Costa Rica explained how the consolidation of biodiversity data into one official platform is enhancing environmental management. Indonesia explored how a national tool captures near real-time changes in land use to identify and prevent negative environmental practices. Finally, Peru demonstrated how spatial data aids conservation by monitoring and evaluating ecosystem services.

Watch the recording here. Download the presentations here

Webinar 1 Speakers

ColombiaSusana Rodriguez-Buritica leads the Researcher Spatial Ecology Lab and Biodiversity Science Program at Humboldt Institute. She integrates data analytics, modeling, and ecological experiments to explore patterns and processes affecting plant community assembly and plant population dynamics. She has a Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology from The Ohio State University.
Costa RicaMelibea Gallo is a biologist with a master’s degree in Forest, Biodiversity Management and Conservation. She is a consultant that focuses on landscape restoration, protected areas management and climate change adaptation. She served as the technical coordinator for Costa Rica's Sixth National Report and oversaw the related spatial analysis and maps.  

Costa RicaRafael Monge serves as the Director of the National Geo-Environmental Information Center (CENIGA) in Costa Rica. He leads the development of the National Monitoring System of Land Use, Land Cover and Ecosystems.


Costa RicaEugenia Arguedas Montezuma is a biologist from the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica. She is the coordinator of Costa Rica's National Ecological Monitoring Program. She is also Costa Rica's National Focal Point to the Convention on Biological Diversity. 

IndonesiaPisca Tias coordinates implementation of the GEF-6-funded Good Growth Partnership (GGP)'s Production Project in Indonesia. She holds a Master of Public Administration in Development Practice at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and her work focuses on climate change and sustainable development.

Peru: Roger Zambrano Ramírez works with Peruvian Ministry of the Environment's General Directorate of Environmental Territorial Planning, and also worked for Peru's National Commission of Aerospace Research and Development. He is an environmental engineer that uses GIS for natural resources and ecosystems monitoring and evaluation. 


Recording #2 | 11 June 2019:
How can spatial data in national reports support
national biodiversity monitoring and management?

Presented by Hannah St. Luce-Martinez, Forest Department of Belize; Zornitza Aguilar, Universidad Católica del Ecuador, and Henri-Paul Eloma, UNDP DRC

In this webinar, Belize, Ecuador and the Democratic Republic of the Congo explained how the spatial data generated during development of their 6NR is being used to improve NBSAP implementation. They also demonstrated how these data are enhancing biodiversity monitoring and management, and how data can showcase the contribution of the countries to the global level and contribute to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. 

Hannah St. Luce-Martinez shared how Belize is using spatial data improve management of its protected areas system, which includes 103 recognized sites that comprise 36% of the country's territory. The presentation highlighted how spatial data are being used to monitor and address deforestation. Ecuador is a biodiversity hotspot, with more then 18,000 plant species and 4,800 vertebrate species. Zornitza Aguilar described Ecuador's Vegetation Map Project, which allows ecosystem types to be identified and monitored to reduce their degradation. Henri-Paul Eloma explained how the Democratic Republic of the Congo is using spatial data to monitor trends in degradation of the country's forest cover and the erosion. He also highlighted how decision makers are using spatial data to decide where to locate new sites that reduce deforestation and protects habitats.  

Watch the recording here. Download the story maps here

Webinar #2 Speakers

Belize: Hannah St.Luce-Martinez works with the Public Service of Belize. She is a Senior Forest Officer that serves the Forest Department, primarily managing the Protected Areas Management Program and the Biodiversity Management Portfolio. She holds a master’s degree  from the Tropical Agricultural Research and Education Center in Costa Rica. 
Ecuador: Zornitza Aguilar is biologist at the Universidad Católica del Ecuador. She has served as a liaison between Ecuador's Ministry of the Environment and UNDP, and was National Director of Research, Information and Environmental Education. She hold's a Master's degree in management and conservation of the natural environment.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Henri-Paul Eloma is a national expert in Socio-Economy, Law and Environmental Finance at UNDP. He holds two master’s degrees from Omar Bongo University and University of Kinshasa. He worked as a researcher at the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature, and as a consultant for organizations including UNESCO, UNOPS, WWF and FAO.

Recording #3 | 25 June 2019:
Using the UN Biodiversity Lab to Support
Biodiversity Monitoring & Reporting 

Presented by  Sendy Augustin Salomon, UNDP Hait; Mark Whittingham, School of Natura and Environmental Sciences, Iraq; Milagro Agudo Orta, Technical Coordinator for the 6NR of Venezuela; and Bui Hoa Binh, UNDP Viet Nam

In this webinar, speakers from Haiti, Iraq, Venezuela and Viet Nam explained how they are using the UN Biodiversity Lab (UNBL) to view and analyze conservation data. These countries also share how they are using the UNBL Status Maps to track their progress to achieve national and global biodiversity targets.

Sendy Augustin showed how efforts to produce Haiti's 6NR are leading to an increase in the number of national protected areas (PAs) from 3 to 25, including 14 marine PAs. Milagro Orta demonstrated how Venezuela is integrating global data from the UNBL with national data to improve conservation monitoring and decision making. Bui Hoa Binh explored how Viet Nam is utilizing spatial data and GIS to track their progress to implement their NBSAPS targets, as well as to implement policy measures to preserve and recover biodiversity. She also demonstrated how maps show the increase in the country's forest coverage but a decrease in forest quality, and how spatial data is supporting protection of marine ecosystem and mangroves forests. Finally, Mark Whittingham, who worked on the 6NR for Iraq, showed how the spatial data is being used to support the expansion of Iraq's PA network to include additional Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), and to support more effective PA management. 

Watch the recording here. Download the presentations here

Webinar #3 Speakers

Haiti: Sendy Augustin Salomon is a Technical Assistant for UNDP. Before joining UNDP, he worked as consultant for Haiti's Agriculture Ministry. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from State University of Haiti, and a Master’s degree in Soil and Environmental Management from Montpellier SupAgro.

Iraq: Mark Whittingham is Professor in Biology at School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University. He works on a range of Iraqi based projects concerning climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services. His work embraces a wide range of projects linked to biodiversity and the development of the Six National Report for Iraq.

Venezuela: Milagro Agudo Orta has postgraduate studies in Seed Germination and Conservation. She worked as technical team director at the General Direction for Biological Diversity at the People's Power for the Environment Ministry, CDB's National Focal Point for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. She is currently the Technical Coordinator for the 6th National Report of Biologic Diversity of the country at the CDB.
Viet Nam: Bui Hoa Binh is a Programme Officer in UNDP that is focused on biodiversity conservation, chemicals, and waste. She has worked at GIZ and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. She holds a Master of Chemical Engineering from Dresden University and a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Queensland.

Recording #4 | 9 July 2019:
How can spatial data help develop national policies
related to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework? 

Presented by Dr. María Carolina Pinilla, 6NR specialist; Dr. Karim Omar, IUCN Red List global assessor; and Dr. Dandan Yu, Research at the Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences

In this webinar, the past, current and future CBD COP Presidents – Mexico, Egypt, and China – shared how they are using spatial data from their national reporting process to develop future national policies on nature. They also explained how spatial data are being used to enhance NBSAP implementation and biodiversity monitoring.

Dr. Carolina Pinilla explained how a combination of statistical and spatial data is guiding Mexico's achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Targets 5 and 1, and leading to better monitoring of ecosystem protection and loss rates. She focused on two datasets: Human Development Index and Natural Capital. Dr. Karim Omar showcased how Egypt is using spatial data to more effectively identify and address threats to biodiversity and to develop evidence-based protection targets. He also provided examples of how Egypt is using biodiversity monitoring data to improve policy impacts. Finally, Dr. Dandan Yu discussed how China is using spatial data from the 6NR to inform policy development, and shared how the country is using status and change maps to monitor the effectiveness of policies to protect China’s rich and unique biodiversity. 

Watch the recording here. Download the presentations here

Webinar#4 Speakers

Mexico – COP 13: Dr. María Carolina Pinilla is ecologist and holds a PhD in Geography. She works on landscape management with indigenous communities, monitoring of production systems, adaptation of local communities to climate change, and management of biodiversity in infrastructure megaprojects. She is currently Mexico's 6NR specialist.
Egypt – COP 14: Dr. Karim Omar is IUCN Red List global assessor. He has an extensive experience in protected areas development, field surveys, monitoring manuals, plant conservation planning, GIS, environmental modeling, ecogeographical analysis, geomatics and red listing. He has over 12 years of experience in data analysis, mapping, sustainable development, biodiversity, and environmental benefits.

China – COP 15: Dr. Dandan Yu is a Researcher at the Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China. Her research includes the relationships between biodiversity, ecosystem structure/functions and ecosystem services; impacts of land use; exotic species and climatic events. She holds a postdoc from the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Marion Marigo works for UNDP as a Technical Specialist for the Sixth National Report project, where she provides technical and project coordination support. Marion has been involved in preparing the UN Biodiversity Lab platform and facilitated the regional orientations in English and French. She has been working with UNDP on support for NBSAP and 6NR development for the past two years. 

Marion Planque graduated from University of Panthéon Sorbonne (France) and is currently working as a Research Assistant for the MapX project, in the Crisis Management Branch of UN Environment. Her work focuses on natural resources and use of spatial data to better manage the environment. She is also the main developer of the story maps powered by MapX.
Prudence Raine works for UNDP as a Technical Specialist for the Sixth National Report project, where she provides technical support to eligible countries on the Sixth National Reporting process. She has been working for UNDP for three years, previously working on GEF and GCF funded projects relating to climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation in Small Island Developing States. 
Christina Supples manages UNDP's national biodiversity and planning initiatives. She works closely with the Secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity and UN Environment to support developing and middle-income countries, and small island nations, to develop and implement effective National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans and  National Reports. 

Annie Virnig is the UN Biodiversity Lab Coordinator for UNDP where she supports efforts to ensure spatial data can be translated into policy and action on the ground. She provides strategic support to engage diverse partners including  UN agencies, NASA, governments, and non-profit organizations. She holds a double B.A. in Biology & Local and Global Social Change from Macalester College and an M. Phil in Ethnobotany from the CUNY Graduate Center and The New York Botanical Garden.