Toward monitoring forest ecosystem integrity within the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

Andrew J. Hansen, Benjamin P. Noble, Jaris Veneros, Alyson East, Scott J. Goetz, Christina Supples, James E.M. Watson, Patrick A. Jantz, Rajeev Pillay, Walter Jetz, Simon Ferrier, Hedley S. Grantham, Thomas D. Evans, Jamison Ervin, Oscar Venter, Anne L.S. Virnig

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Signatory countries to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) are formulating goals and indicators through 2050 under the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Among the goals is increasing the integrity of ecosystems. The CBD is now seeking input toward a quantifiable definition of integrity and methods to track it globally. Here, we offer a schema for using Earth observations (EO) to monitor and evaluate global forest ecosystem integrity (EI). Our approach builds on three topics: the concept of EI, the use of satellite-based EO, and the use of “essential biodiversity variables” to monitor and report on it. Within this schema, EI is a measure of the structure, function, and composition of an ecosystem relative to the range of variation determined by climatic–geophysical environment. We use evaluation criteria to recommend eight potential indicators of EI that can be monitored around the globe using Earth Observations to support the efforts of nations to monitor and report progress to implement the post-2020 GBF. If operationalized, this schema should help Parties to the CBD take action and report progress on achieving ecosystem commitments during this decade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12822
JournalConservation Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • biodiversity policy
  • conservation planning
  • ecological monitoring
  • ecosystem integrity
  • post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework
  • remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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