The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services have presented unequivocal evidence for human induced climate change and biodiversity decline. Transformative societal change is required in response. However, while the Global Observing System for Climate has coordinated climate observations for these assessments, there has been no equivalent actor for the biodiversity assessment. Here we argue that a central agency for coordinated biodiversity observations can lead to an improved assessment process for biodiversity status and coupled climate - biodiversity observations in areas of mutual interest such as monitoring indicators of Nature's Contributions to People. A global biodiversity observation system has already begun to evolve through bottom up development of the Essential Biodiversity Variables. We propose recommendations on how to build on this progress through definition of user requirements, observation principles, creation of a community data basis and regional actions through existing networks.