Challenge 2: New approaches to environmental monitoring and evaluation

Forest edge adjacent to a palm oil plantationCredit: R Ewers

Future management and understanding of biological and social-ecological systems requires new methods for remote and automated monitoring of those systems, optimising the design of monitoring systems to get the most informative data per pound spent, storing and making those data available for evaluation, for evaluation of the impacts of interventions themselves, and for determining how monitoring at a small number of sites might reflect ecosystem conditions at regional and global scales.  Current approaches to monitoring ecological systems and evolutionary processes are heavy on person hours and often vary extensively between locations, making synthesis and compilation of large-scale datasets hard. New approaches using remote sensing, automated DNA and genomic analyses and mobile information technology, all joined through online databases, provide the opportunity to implement integrated systems.