GLOBIO3 biodiversity model

GLOBIO3 is a model that has been developed to assess human-induced changes in terrestrial biodiversity. Biodiversity is not measured but derived from the impact of a number of pressure factors on biodiversity. The model can assess past, present and future biodiversity at different scales. It uses the MSA indicator to assess biodiversity.

GLOBIO3 is built on simple cause–effect relationships between pressures and biodiversity impacts. The model determines the combined impact of the different pressures: land-use change, infrastructure development, fragmentation, climate change and atmospheric nitrogen deposition. The cause–effect relationships of the different pressures on biodiversity are derived from available literature, using meta-analysis for comparable ecosystems. The quality of the model output can be improved with the help of local data sets and expert knowledge. Existing GIS maps are used as input.

The earlier GLOBIO2 (2001) model focused on the relationship between species diversity and the distance to infrastructure. It was further developed into the new GLOBIO3 model by a international consortium made up of the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), UNEP\GRID-Arendal and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). The GLOBIO3 model has been further developed by PBL over the years with additional information on cause effect relationships. Wilbert van Rooij of Plansup who worked at PBL from 2006 to 2010 has been responsible for downscaling the model from a global to a sub-national scale by integrating the GLOBIO3 model with the Clue land use model, using national data sets and including local expertise.

A background document made by Rob Alkemade of PBL about the GLOBIO3 model can be downloaded here. A technical description of the Global model version 3.5 can be downloaded here.

Technical manuals of the national and sub-national assessments have also been made. Information of these documents can be requested by sending  an e-mail to

A short technical description of the down-scaled national model is provided in the following post of this website.

More information about the GLOBIO3 model can be found on the PBL model website.