Using Spatial Data for Biodiversity

In this micro-course, you will learn about the value of remote sensing for monitoring biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, learn how to use the UN Biodiversity Lab (UNBL) to visualize and analyze spatial data, and gain an understanding of how countries around the world are using spatial data to take action for nature.

Estimated effort: 4 hours total for all course requirements
Course type: Micro-course
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese


NASA's Applied Remote Sensing Training Program (ARSET) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are pleased to offer a FREE micro-course “Using Spatial Data for Biodiversity.”

Global biodiversity-based uses of remote sensing are crucial for conservation and sustainable development action plans. Relaunched in 2022, the course provides a training on NASA satellites and sensors, the newly released UN Biodiversity Lab (UNBL) version 2.0, several NASA-supported projects generating new data on forests, and country case studies. It is designed to guide policymakers, technical experts, and other stakeholders to advance their use of spatial data and achieve their commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda).

The course is developed by NASA ARSET and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and supported by the UNBL partners, including the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), UNDP, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).

Learning objectives

By the time this micro-course is completed, you will be able to:

  • Identify key global agreements on biodiversity and sustainable development 
  • Describe the value of spatial data for monitoring biodiversity conservation
  • Explain how to overcome some of the common obstacles to using spatial data at the national level
  • Use UN Biodiversity Lab to visualize spatial data, run analyses, and create maps in your region of interest
  • Utilize case study examples from multiple countries as context for your work

Course topics

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Spatial Data and Policies for Biodiversity
  • Lesson 2: UN Biodiversity Lab: Introduction and Training
  • Lesson 3: How Countries are Using Spatial Data to Support Nature Conservation

Course completion requirements

To receive the certificate of course completion, participants must:

  • Complete three online lessons
  • Pass three quizzes
  • Complete the course survey

Certificate of completion

In order for our site to issue the certificate, all the activities must be marked with green checkmarks. Once each activity in your course room contains a green checkmark, the certificate will be automatically generated and will become available for download in PDF format directly from this page.

Certificates of completion only indicate the completion of the training. They do not imply proficiency on the subject matter, nor should they be seen as a professional certification. 

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Course Includes

  • 5 Modules
  • 11 Activities
  • 3 quizzes
  • Course Certificate