UN Biodiversity Lab
The UN Biodiversity Lab (UNBL) provides access to global data and analytics on people and planet in new ways to empower governments and stakeholders to take action to achieve their commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Type of Digital Public Good
- Open content
- ✅ Open data
- Open software
- Open standard
- Open AI model
1. Is it relevant to one of the Sustainable Development Goals?
- 2. Zero Hunger
Evidence: Mapping global agricultural lands, and related land conversion directly supports work to increase food security. UNBL contains several relevant layers associated with the SDG. Example: The Esri 2020 Land Cover 10m (IO) layer displays a global map of land use/land cover (LULC). The map is derived from ESA Sentinel-2 imagery at 10m resolution. It is a composite of LULC predictions for 10 classes throughout the year in order to generate a representative snapshot of 2020. It includes classifications for crops and flooded vegetation. Example: The Marine Priority Areas for Food Security layer identifies priority areas that can contribute substantially to achieving these three objectives of biodiversity protection, food provision and carbon storage. Paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03371-z Example: the Crop Suitability Change layer shows general agricultural suitability considering rain-fed conditions and irrigation on currently irrigated areas.The dataset covers two time periods (2011-2040, 2071-2100), as well as changes in agricultural suitability over two periods (1981-2100, 2011-2100). Example layer in link below.
Link to Evidence: https://map.unbiodiversitylab.org/earth?basemap=grayscale&coordinates=20,0,2&layers=crop-suitability-2011-to-2100_100
- 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
Evidence: UNBL provides a number of layers related to water provision and essential watersheds. Example: The Nature Map Realised Clean Water Provision layer consists of a globally normalized map (from 0 to 1) of pixels ranked for their relative importance in delivering clean water to downstream beneficiaries. Example: The City Water Map layer contains information on the water sources for 534 cities internationally. The watershed layer shown here includes information about the catchment area of the watershed that supplies these cities. Example layer in link below.
Link to Evidence: https://map.unbiodiversitylab.org/earth?basemap=grayscale&coordinates=20,0,2&layers=naturemap-realised-clean-water-provision_100
- 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
Evidence: Mapping urban areas, and trends in urban development is relevant here. At 10m scale users can also start to identify large green spaces in urban areas and agricultural peripheries. UNBL provides a number of layers related to this. Example: The Global Grid of Probabilities of Urban Expansion to 2030 layer presents spatially explicit probabilistic forecasts of global urban land cover change from 2000 to 2030 at a 2.5 arc-minute resolution. Citation: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1211658109 Example: The Esri 2020 Land Cover 10m (IO) layer displays a global map of land use/land cover (LULC). The map is derived from ESA Sentinel-2 imagery at 10m resolution. It is a composite of LULC predictions for 10 classes throughout the year in order to generate a representative snapshot of 2020. It includes classifications for Built Areas. Example in link below.
Link to Evidence: https://map.unbiodiversitylab.org/earth?basemap=grayscale&coordinates=20,0,2&layers=esri-2020-land-cover-10m-io_100
- 13. Climate Action
Evidence: UNBL provides a number of layers that relate to carbon sequestration and climate change scenarios. Example: The Esri 2020 Land Cover 10m (IO) layer displays a global map of land use/land cover (LULC). Land cover conversion plays a major role in CO2 emissions (e.g. deforestation and conversion of other natural habitats) as well as climate resilience (mapping forests, mangroves, etc, for nature-based climate solutions) Example: The Aboveground and Belowground Biomass Carbon layer provides temporally consistent and harmonized global maps of aboveground and belowground biomass carbon density for the year 2010 at a 300m spatial resolution. Example: The Global Soil Organic Carbon Organic Carbon Map (GSOC map) allows the estimation of SOC stock from 0 to 30cm. It also represents a key contribution to SDG indicator 15.3.1 which defines the area of degraded land. Example: the UNBL Data Collection on Nature-based Solutions for Climate Change offers further data layers that can be used to answer key policy questions related to nature-based solutions for climate change. Example layer included in link below.
Link to Evidence: https://map.unbiodiversitylab.org/earth?basemap=grayscale&coordinates=20,0,2&layers=biomass-carbon-density-2010_100
- 15. Life on Land
Evidence: UNBL is most clearly connected to SDG15 with its wealth of biodiversity data. Example: The Biodiversity Intactness Index shows the modeled average abundance of originally-present species in a grid cell, as a percentage, relative to their abundance in an intact ecosystem. It can be seen as a measure of how much humans have impacted terrestrial biodiversity, or as a measure of how degraded biodiversity in an area is. Example: The Forest Structural Integrity Index (FSII) layer identifies structurally complex forests with low human pressure that are likely to be most valuable for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Example: The Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) layer identifies sites that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Example: The Threatened Species Richness layer represents the number of species of threatened amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles and plant taxa whose distribution overlaps in each 10km cell. Example: The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) layer is largest database of protected areas on the planet. The data are the legally defined protected area (PA) borders as reported by governments, for both marine and terrestrial areas. UNBL draws protected area data directly from the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). Example: the UNBL Data Collection on Protected Areas offers further data layers that can be used to answer key policy questions related to Protected Areas. Example link included below.
Link to Evidence: https://map.unbiodiversitylab.org/earth?basemap=grayscale&coordinates=20,0,2&layers=biodiversity-intactness-index_100
2. Does it use an appropriate open license?
Yes, this project is licensed under the following license(s):
3. Is ownership clearly defined?
Is the ownership of the project and everything that the project produces clearly defined and documented?
If yes - please link to the relevant copyright, trademarks, or ownership documentation for the project.
4. Does the license of libraries/dependencies undermine the openess of the project?
Does this open project have mandatory dependencies (i.e. libraries, hardware) that create more restrictions than the original license?
If yes - are the open source components able to demonstrate independence from the closed component(s) and/or are there functional, open alternatives?
If yes - please describe how the open source components are independent and/or list the open alternatives for the closed component:
5. Is there documentation?
Does some documentation exist of the source code, use cases, and/or functional requirements. For software projects, this should be present as technical documentation that would allow a technical person unfamiliar with the project to launch and run the software. For datasets and data projects, this should be present as documentation that describes all the fields in the set, and provides context on how the data was collected and how it should be interpreted. For content collections, this should indicate any relevant compatible apps, software, hardware required to access the content and any instructions about how to use it.
If yes - please link to the relevant documentation:
- How to find licensing information for a dataset - When selecting the layers, on the legend box there will be a small i symbol, ‘layer info', at the right of the layer's name. By clicking it, you can explore the metadata and learn more about the source.
6. Is non PII data and/or content accessible?
Does this project collect or use non-personally identifiable information (non-PII) data and/or content?
If yes - is there a mechanism for extracting or importing non-personally identifiable information (non-PII) from the system in a non-proprietary format?
If yes - describe the mechanism for extracting or importing non-personally identifiable information from the system in a non-proprietary format:
Data layers can be downloaded directly from UNBL, if allowed by the original data provider. Where this is not possible, we provide links to the original source for download. Shapes can be downloaded directly from the UNBL interface and MongoDB has an export tool. Metrics calculated on UNBL can be downloaded as a CSV or JSON.
7. Does the project adhere to privacy and other applicable international and domestic laws?
Has this project taken steps to ensure adherence with relevant privacy, domestic, and international laws? For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union or the Supplementary Act A/SA.1/01/10 on Personal Data Protection for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (yes/no)
If yes, please list some of relevant laws that the project complies with:
- General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR)
8. Does the project adhere to standards and best practices?
Does this project support standards? (i.e. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 or other standards such as those listed on W3C)
Which standards does this project support (please list)
- UNBL is built on 100% open data standards. All Science Data Sets (SDS) are spatially and temporally indexed using the STAC catalog specifications, allowing easy discovery and access to exactly the right AOI and time ranges desired. SDS are stored in Cloud Optimized GeoTIFFs to provide easy access to small areas (AOIs) within the very large GeoTIFF files, eliminating the need to have the entire dataset local to access and perform calculations on and create client-side visualization of using open tiling solutions (e.g. titiler). All analysis of the SDS is done using open standard analysis libraries including gdal, numpy, and xarray.
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
Can you point to evidence of your support? (i.e. please link to your validator, open test suite, etc.)
Was this project built and developed according to or in adherence with any design, technical and/or sector best practices or principles? i.e. the Principles for Digital Development?
Which principles and best practices does this project support (please list)
- Yes, the core tenets of PDD have been followed.
- Design Thinking Methodology has been followed which has significant overlap with the PDD principles.
- Design with the User - User Centered Design was followed with many user workshops following the Empathize,Define,Ideate, Prototype, Test, Implement.
- Understand the Ecosystem - Multiple workshops held with the users in the target countries.
- Design for Scale - The platform was designed to scale with a serverless architecture, load-testing for 300 current users at a time.
- Data Driven - Analytics and tag management have been built in as well as HotJar for site usage analysis.
- Use Open Standards - The entire application is built using open standard tools, frameworks, libraries and servers.
- Reuse and Improve - We are contributors on several open source projects that are using. We've found and fixed a few bugs, but mostly we're improving the packages for better scaling. For example, you'll find several issues opened and pull requests submitted for pgstac from Impact Observatory members.
- Security - we have carefully walked the line so far to keep all PII data (user account data) held within the security provider Auth0. We do not have any PII data under our management that can be compromised.
9. Does the project do no harm by design?
Has this project taken steps to anticipate, prevent and do no harm by design?
On the whole, does this project take steps to ensure that it anticipates, prevents and does no harm by design?
Is there any additional information you would like to share about the mechanisms, processes or policies that this project uses to avoid doing harm by design?
Clear documentation of all sources and guidance on appropriately using and citing the maps and data.
9.a. Data Privacy & Security
Does this project collect or store personally identifiable information (PII) data and/or content?
If yes - please list the types of data and/or content collected and/or stored by the project:
- When visiting or registering on our site, as appropriate, users may be asked to enter name, email address, phone number or other details to help the experience. We ensure that the collection of personal data is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.
If yes - does this project share this data and/or content with third parties?
Please describe the circumstances with which this project shares data and/or content with third parties. Please add links as relevant.
- With your previous consent, we may use the information we collect from you when you create an account in our website, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf our website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:
- - To send periodic newsletters or site communications
- - To collect statistics about users in order for us to improve the website
If yes - does the project ensure the privacy, security and integrity of this data and/or content collection and has it taken steps to prevent adverse impacts resulting from its collection, storage and distribution.
We treat personal data with confidentiality and will only disclose it when necessary to provide services or report on business operations. When you sign-up on our website, your contact information is shared with MailChimp, which hosts our newsletter list and page. Aggregate statistics of user interaction with the platform are created from non-personally identifiable information. Reference - https://unbiodiversitylab.org/privacy-policy/
9.b. Inappropriate & Illegal Content
Does this project collect, store or distribute content?
If yes - what kinds of content does this project, collect, store or distribute? (i.e. childrens books)
If yes - does this project have policies that describe what is considered innappropriate content? (i.e. child sexual abuse materials)
If yes - please link to the relevant policy/guidelines/documentation.
If yes - does this project have policies and processes for detecting and moderating innappropriate/illegal content?
If yes - please describe the policies and processes for detecting, reporting and removing innapropriate/illegal content (Please include the average response time for assessment and/or action. Link to any policies or descriptions of how inappropriate content is handled):
9.c. Protection from harassment
Does this project facilitate interactions with or between users or contributors?
If yes - does the project take steps to address the safety and security of underage users?
If yes - please describe the steps this project takes to address risk or prevent access by underage users:
If yes - does the project help users and contributors protect themselves against grief, abuse, and harassment?
If yes - please describe the steps taken to help users protect themselves.
Development & deployment countries
List of countries this project was developed in.
- United States of America
- United Kingdom
List of countries this project is actively deployed in.