Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 404748
Title Databases, scaling practices, and the globalization of biodiversity
Author(s) Turnhout, E.; Boonman-Berson, S.H.
Source Ecology and Society 16 (2011)1. - ISSN 1708-3087 - p. 35 - 35.
Department(s) Forest and Nature Conservation Policy
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) environmental governance - politics - construction - perspective - multilevel
Abstract Since the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1992, biodiversity has become an important topic for scientific research. Much of this research is focused on measuring and mapping the current state of biodiversity, in terms of which species are present at which places and in which abundance, and making extrapolations and future projections, that is, determining the trends. Biodiversity databases are crucial components of these activities because they store information about biodiversity and make it digitally available. Useful biodiversity databases require data that are reliable, standardized, and fit for up-scaling. This paper uses material from the EBONE-project (European Biodiversity Observation Network) to illustrate how biodiversity databases are constructed, how data are negotiated and scaled, and how biodiversity is globalized. The findings show a continuous interplay between scientific ideals related to objectivity and pragmatic considerations related to feasibility and data availability. Statistics was a crucial feature of the discussions. It also proved to be the main device in up-scaling the data. The material presented shows that biodiversity is approached in an abstract, quantitative, and technical way, disconnected from the species and habitats that make up biodiversity and the people involved in collecting the data. Globalizing biodiversity involves decontextualization and standardization. This paper argues that while this is important if the results of projects like EBONE are to be usable in different contexts, there is a risk involved as it may lead to the alienation from the organizations and volunteers who collect the data upon which these projects rely
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