Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

BIOFRESH — Result In Brief

Project ID: 226874
Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
Country: Germany

Save our freshwater species

Freshwaters are among the world's most diverse ecosystems, but their species richness is being lost even faster than in seas or on land. Addressing this threat, an EU-funded project developed a knowledge platform that will help set priorities for current and future conservation planning.
Save our freshwater species
The 'Biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems: Status, trends, pressures, and conservation priorities' (BIOFRESH) initiative was the first major international project that focused explicitly on freshwater biodiversity. A key product of the project was the Freshwater Biodiversity Data Portal, which is the primary source of open access biodiversity data, computer models and analytical tools. By extracting data from the portal, scientists and planners can study how the freshwater fauna and flora will respond to global, European and local environmental pressures.

A second major project outcome was the online Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas, which includes over 100 thematic maps, mainly at the global scale. The Atlas provides policymakers, water managers and scientists with an online, open access and interactive gateway to key geographical information and spatial data on freshwater biodiversity across different scales. The Atlas is a resource for better, evidence-based decision making in the area of water policy, science and management.

BIOFRESH members also identified the freshwater Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), designed as an optimal network to address gaps in site protection and conservation. In addition, the team developed an Information Area with a vast collection of resources to support research policy and education and to inform the public.

The BIOFRESH information platform is an important and dynamic resource for those interested in freshwater biodiversity. The work will contribute to our understanding of how future climate and socioeconomic pressures will influence global, European and local responses in the freshwater environment.

Products and findings from the project will be used to make people more aware of the importance and beauty of the life forms inhabiting our rivers, ponds and lakes. Furthermore, they provide a valuable resource for policymakers, helping them to take decisions based on the best available evidence.

Work conducted by the BIOFRESH project will also support the incorporation of freshwater biodiversity into environmental agreements and policy instruments. These include the EU's Habitats Directive, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Related information

Keywords

Freshwater, ecosystems, conservation, biodiversity, environmental pressures
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