Nature4Climate and OpenEarth Foundation Introduce new NbS Guidelines for Data Sharing

Briefing Room 04.08.23

Posted by Mariana Ceccon
Photo: Nasa/Unsplash

OpenEarth Foundation and Nature4Climate announce the culmination of six months of dedicated work – the pioneering “Guidelines for Sharing Nature-Based Solution Data.” This initiative, involving over 100 experts, aims to improve how we gather and exchange data related to nature-based solutions (NbS) for monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) purposes.

This collaborative effort aimed to create guidelines that enable different data systems to work together seamlessly, promoting clear and open practices for collecting, sharing, and using NbS data. These guidelines have received support from thirty-five reputable organizations and professionals in the climate and biodiversity sector.

A key focus of the document is to make data easily understandable for machines, ensuring smooth data processing and integration. By prioritizing machine-readable Open Data Standards, including technologies like Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), XBRL, and ISO, these guidelines empower users across various platforms.

Nature4Climate and the OpenEarth Foundation presented the guidelinesto the UNFCCC technical dialogue for the Global Stocktake, advocating for the integration of ‘No Regrets’ protocols as a global process. These guidelines align with the principles of data sharing and promise to invigorate the Global Stocktake’s collaborative progress monitoring.

For more information about the guidelines please contact Louisa Durkin (


‘No Regrets’ Standard Data Provenance Protocols

  1. Implementation of Machine Readability: The implementation of machine-readable Open Data Standards for tagging NbS data sets should be prioritized to ensure the interoperability of data across different systems and platforms. This will improve data processing and integration and ultimately lead to better decision-making and implementation of NbS.
    *Utilize machine readable formats (i.e. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), XBRL, ISO)
  2. Adoption of Standard Guidelines for Metadata: It is recommended that standard guidelines for publishing NbS data be adopted to ensure homogeneity and transparency within the data. These guidelines should be based on best practices and should be regularly updated to reflect the latest developments in the field.
    *List what geospatial reporting standard is used.
    *Clear outlining of assumptions Include uncertainty calculations in the data  (i.e. GRI, ISSB, CDP)
  3. Regular Review and Update: The Open Data Standards for NbS data should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect the changing needs and demands of the field. This may involve the development of new standards, the improvement of existing standards, or a combination of both.
    *Develop grassroots level tools that can be scaled up
    *Consider maintaining a clearing house, and or governance of open data models and infrastructures
  4. When collecting species occupancy data through surveys and/or eDNA exploration, adhere to Darwin Core standards, observe FAIR principles and publish to GBIF.
  5. Accessibility, Collaboration, and Partnership: Collaboration between different stakeholders is crucial in ensuring the development and implementation of effective Open Data Standards for NbS data. This may involve partnerships between government agencies, research institutions, and private sector organizations.
    *Fund and develop guides to contextualize data to local context
    *Utilize current decentralized communities working to develop best practices (Climate Action Data 2.0 (CAD2.0), ESG Exchange, Carbon Call, GEOBON)
    *Develop clear knowledge guides on data platforms and data provenance
    *Develop new tools to be as open source as possible
    *Ensure tools can evolve toward self determination
    *As much as possible, reconfigure existing data collection techniques instead of starting data collection from scratch
    *Consider local laws, statutes, and regulations as essential data products
    *Wherever applicable, consider social safeguards (i.e. Free and Informed Prior Consent,  CARE principles)

This document has been endorsed by the following entities and individuals:
Capitals Coalition
Climate Action Data 2.0 Community (CAD2.0)
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
Logos Blue Economy Foundation & Logos Capital
MRV Collective
Portable Data Corp/JLINC Labs
Project Canopy
Quantifying Nature
Waterfront Alliance
Hilde Eggermont, Belgian Biodiversity Platform/Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Strategic Coordinator
Zhi Yi, Data Driven Lab, University of North Carolina
Alice C. Hughes, PI University of Hong Kong, member APBON
Daniela Palma, Metabolic
Thomas Crowther, ETH Zurich. Founder of Restor, chair of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.
Calder Tsuyuki-Tomlinson, Climate Champions Team
Dr. Simon JD Schillebeeckx, Singapore Management University, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer,
Eugene Karl Montoya, Waterfront Alliance
Liv Watson, Digitisation Lead (Contractor – DSD Project), Capitals Coalition
Dr. Lowellyne James, SDG Assessment
Dr. Dina Rasquinha, Ecosystem Carbon Specialist, Global Science, WWF-US
Jamison Ervin, Manager, Global Programme on Nature for Development, UNDP
Christina Supples, Senior Advisor on Biodiversity Policy, Science, and Programmes
Annie Virnig, Strategic Advisor on Science and Policy, UNDP
Marion Marigo, Capacity Building & Biodiversity Senior Officer, UNDP
Scott Atkinson, Spatial Data Expert, UNDP
Di Zhang, Spatial Data Analyst, UNDP
Varsha Vijay, Technical Director, Science Based Targets Network
Naseer Chia, SYSTEMIQ

“It’s important that each decision at every step, which has a level of uncertainty and embedded assumptions, is fed into the end decision.  It leads to much better decisions.”  

Dr. Alice C. Hughes, Associate Professor of School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong and member of the Asia Pacific Biodiversity Observation Network (APBON)

“There should be transparency on how data becomes information.”

Karl Burkart, Co-Founder and Deputy Director, One Earth