National Biodiversity Future Centre (NBFC) focuses on the Mediterranean area (biodiversity hotspot) and addresses global challenges related to the protection and restoration of marine, coastal, transitional and terrestrial ecosystems: in particular, NBFC carries out research and promotes the development of practices for monitoring, conservation, valorisation and restoration of the biodiversity, including genetic and functional aspects, in order to counter the effects of anthropogenic impact and climate change and to support ecosystem services. At the same time, NBFC supports research and innovation activities for the enhancement of biodiversity through processes of circular economy and restoration ecology and economy, with the primary objective of protecting the resources provided by ecosystems and at the same time ensuring the quality of personal well-being.
Biodiversity (from species to ecosystems) monitoring is the systematic measure of response variables and processes for assessing system state and drawing inferences about changes in state over time. Monitoring, more than a stand-alone-activity, should be considered a component of a larger processes: if well designed, it can capture changes in biodiversity patterns, causes of biodiversity loss and changes over time and support evaluating the outcomes of either conservation-oriented and management intervention, a commitment from several regional and global agreements relevant to the sustainable use of biological resources (e.g., CBD Aichi Target 11, SDGs, EU Biodiversity Strategy and EU environmental directives). The NBFC intends to explore monitoring technologies and methodologies to support this process. An efficient monitoring strategy requires in the first place an accurate knowledge of the taxa present in each ecosystem, that means investing on taxonomy as well as focusing on genetic biodiversity as a more detailed information on population structure and species distribution. Moreover, effective biodiversity monitoring requires the collection, transfer, processing and storage of data. NBFC is also tackling the known weaknesses of monitoring activities which include: lack of well-articulated objectives, flawed experimental designs, need of setting clear thresholds of change across systems and under different combination of stressors, need of increasing the spatial and temporal extent of efforts, substantial lack of focus on the effects of global impacts, need to develop monitoring tools that allow continuous measures and early warning systems, need to develop monitoring infrastructures for sharing data and make them FAIR. Another major limitation for evaluating the ecological status of ecosystems and improving estimates of cumulative effects is also the difficulty to capitalise on existing data although , often fragmented in the scientific literature and reports from environmental agencies, or not easily available. iIn Europe , the Natura 2000 network potentially offers a solid basis for EU Member States for sharing systematic monitoring schemes. with the production of comparable outcomes across countries. However, there is no integration and common use of the collected information on species, habitats, and threats with comprehensive and consistent assessments. In this context, the NBFC can represent the element of national agreement and aggregation not only of information but also of local initiatives and projects. In this context, the NBFC can represent the element of national agreement and aggregation not only of information but also of local initiatives and projects.
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