article / 16 October 2023

Biodiversity Intactness dataset now available on the Earth Engine community catalog

Earth Blox makes dataset from Impact Observatory and Vizzuality available to Google Earth Engine developers via the #AwesomeGEECommunityCatalog

There is a growing need for biodiversity metrics in the sustainability transition. Over the past months, we have developed repeatable, scalable solutions used by our customers for biodiversity assessments worldwide. They are used in due diligence processes for Nature Based Solutions (NbS) projects and as organisations prepare to report on nature-related risks, impacts, and opportunities for TNFD (Taskforce for Nature-Related Financial Disclosures).

Biodiversity indicators that detect changes over time and at scale are crucial to this work, which is why we use the Biodiversity Intactness dataset, built by Impact Observatory and Vizzuality, to power our biodiversity solutions. This high-resolution global dataset estimates terrestrial Biodiversity Intactness as 100-meter gridded maps for 2017-2020. The dataset’s collection builds on the PREDICTS database (spatially referenced observations of biodiversity across 32,000 sites from over 750 studies). Biodiversity intactness is estimated as a combination of two metrics: Abundance, the quantity of individuals, and Compositional Similarity, a metric representing how similar the composition of species is to an intact baseline. The approach differs from previous work by modeling the relationship between observed biodiversity metrics and contemporary, global, geospatial layers of human pressures. The intention is to provide a high resolution monitoring product into the future. 

As well as being available to all Earth Blox customers, we are also making it accessible through the Awesome GEE Community Catalog. By contributing this rich dataset to the open source community catalog, we hope to empower the broader Earth Engine developer community to leverage it for research, applications, and sustainability initiatives, multiplying its positive impact. The Catalog is a collaborative community effort to build an open repository of geospatial data, code, and tutorials on Google Earth Engine. With over 320+ TB of data and 1350+ datasets across different themes, it is one of the largest unfunded open source geospatial data repositories. Awesome GEE's open source ethos aligns with our mission to scale biodiversity measurement for collective benefit.‍

Earth Blox CEO, Dr Genevieve Patenaude, said:

“The Biodiversity Intactness dataset was previously unavailable on Earth Engine. Adding it to Earth Blox and the Awesome GEE Community Catalog ensures it becomes accessible to the entire Earth Engine community and can be used widely to power the restoration of nature and protection of diversity.”

‍Dr Samapriya Roy, creator of Awesome GEE Community catalog added:

“We are what we build together. It's incredible to see datasets like Biodiversity Intactness now openly available to all, thanks to community collaboration. Earth Blox's contribution validates the vision for open data ecosystems where we share to empower collective action. I am grateful to data partners committed to openness for the common good.”

Francis Gassert, Strategy and Impact at Vizzuality concluded:

“If we want to halt biodiversity loss, knowledge on the state of nature must be freely and easily accessible for everyone to use. This is the driving force behind our publication of the Biodiversity Intactness dataset, the central theory of change of our work at Vizzuality, and the value of resources like Earth Blox and the Awesome GEE Community Catalog.”


See the dataset in action: Biodiversity Impact Assessment with Earth Blox

In this example we assess the impact on biodiversity since 2019 at a palm oil mill in the province of Jambi, Indonesia. We combine a number of indicators, including change in biomass, a vegetation index, biodiversity intactness, land cover type, and forest cover, to calculate an overall impact score. 

Access the Biodiversity Intactness dataset on the Earth Engine community catalog here.

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