Harmonizing forest conservation policies with essential biodiversity variables incorporating remote sensing and environmental DNA technologies

Marcelle Lock*, Iris van Duren, Andrew K. Skidmore, Neil Saintilan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


It remains difficult to compare the state of conservation of forests of different nations. Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) are a set of variables designed as a framework for harmonizing biodiversity monitoring. Methods to monitor forest biodiversity are traditional monitoring (according to conservation policy requirements), remote sensing, environmental DNA, and the information products that are derived from them (RS/eDNA biodiversity products). However, it is not clear to what extent indicators from conservation policies align with EBVs and RS/eDNA biodiversity products. This research evaluated current gaps in harmonization between EBVs, RS/eDNA biodiversity products and forest conservation indicators. We compared two sets of biodiversity variables: (1) forest conservation indicators and (2) RS/eDNA biodiversity products, within the context of the Essential Biodiversity Variables framework. Indicators derived from policy documents can mostly be categorized within the EBV ‘ecosystem vertical profile’, while ‘ecosystem function’ remains underrepresented. RS/eDNA biodiversity products, however, can provide information about ‘ecosystem function’. Integrating RS/eDNA biodiversity products that monitor ecosystem functioning into monitoring programs will lead to a more comprehensive and balanced reporting on forest biodiversity. In addition, using the same variables and similar RS/eDNA products for forest biodiversity and conservation policies is a requirement for harmonization and international policy reporting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number445
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number3
Early online date11 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Environmental DNA
  • Essential biodiversity variables
  • Forest conservation policies
  • Indicators
  • Remote sensing biodiversity products


Dive into the research topics of 'Harmonizing forest conservation policies with essential biodiversity variables incorporating remote sensing and environmental DNA technologies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this