Biodiversity Plenary at the UNGA77 Science Summit

Biodiversity Plenary


On Friday 16 September, LifeWatch ERIC and GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, will organise a Biodiversity Plenary at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Science Summit in New York, which is taking place from 13 – 30 September to mark the 77th General Assembly of the UN. Together, they will present collaborative research systems and examples of innovative digital technologies to meet the challenge set by the SDGs to preserve ecosystems –specifically SDG 14 Life below Water and SDG 15 Life on Land– encouraging better informed decision-making that is firmly rooted in science. Their complementary experiences will be offered both to the national delegations in the General Assembly and to the international community, in order to increase understanding about the resources, procedures and examples of effective interventions that can halt biodiversity loss in the context of climate change – in fact, 40 speakers will participate: representatives and experts from world organisations such as the UN; regional institutions such as the European Commission; and directors of scientific centres and research consortia from all corners of the planet. In particular, the Biodiversity Plenary will call for special attention towards the contribution of agroecology to sustainable agriculture and biodiversity, also drawing on the knowledge of indigenous communities, and will contribute to the preparation of the 2023 UN Summit of the Future, which has the purpose of forging a great consensus in the face of global challenges.

The Plenary on Friday 16 September is one of the four Plenary Sessions of a programme that lasts over 18 days and includes more than 100 events, to examine the role of scientific research and cooperation in achieving the UN SDGs for 2030. It will be broadcast live on the UNGA Science Summit website. During the event, LifeWatch ERIC aims– both through the Biodiversity Plenary and the numerous meetings that it will hold in New York with authorities, diplomats, scientists, conservationists, administrators of resources and social agents– to create awareness of the 2030 Agenda. 

Biodiversity Plenary Programme

The hybrid Plenary, taking place on Friday 16 September in New York from 09:00  – 17:00 EDT, will be opened with contributions from representatives of supranational organisations, including European Commissioners, representatives from UNESCO, and national ministers.
It is split into two sessions; the first focuses on the growing importance of networked research infrastructures, with the data, services and resources that essentially provide the backbone for fundamental and applied science, and the definition of evidence-based policies. It will begin with the panel ‘Scientific Setting: How biodiversity is crucial to delivering UN’s SDGs and what has to happen now’. This will be followed by the panel entitled ‘Biodiversity Data: support for global policy optimisation’.
The second session, ‘Biodiversity Case Studies: Accessing global datasets and using new other forms of technology-enabled evidence to inform policy-making’, is focused on case studies of biodiversity that demonstrate the qualitative leap that access to global data sets brings, using new technologies as a way to broaden scientific evidence, which improves the orientation of policy to manage, preserve or recover ecosystems.

You can find more detailed information regarding speakers on the UNGA Science Summit website.


The Bulgarian National Distributed Centre is represented by the  Agricultural University-Plovdiv.

To know more about how Bulgaria contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Spanish National Distributed Centre is supported by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Guadalquivir River Basin Authority (Ministry for Ecological Transition-MITECO). Moreover, Spain is the hosting Member State of LifeWatch ERIC, the location of its Statutory Seat & ICT e-Infrastructure Technical Office (LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities). 

To know more about how Spain contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Slovenian National Distributed Centre is led by the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU). It focuses on the development of technological solutions in the field of biodiversity and socio-ecosystem research.

To know more about how Slovenia contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Portuguese National Distributed Centre is managed by PORBIOTA, the Portuguese e-Infrastructure for Information and Research on Biodiversity. Led by BIOPOLIS/CIBIO-InBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, PORBIOTA connects the principal Portuguese research institutions working in biodiversity.

To know more about how Portugal contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Dutch National Distributed Centre is hosted by the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. Moreover, The Netherlands hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre.

To know more about how The Netherlands contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Italian National Distributed Centre is led and managed by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and is coordinated by a Joint Research Unit, currently comprising 35 members. Moreover, Italy hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Service Centre.

To know more about how Italy contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Greek National Distributed Centre is funded by the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology and is coordinated by the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, in conjunction with 47 associated partner institutions.

To know more about how Greece contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.


The Belgian National Distributed Centre makes varied and complementary in-kind contributions to LifeWatch ERIC. These are implemented in the form of long-lasting projects by various research centres and universities distributed throughout the country and supported by each respective political authority.

To know more about how Belgium contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.