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Coverage by protected areas of important sites for mountain biodiversity

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes (find out more)

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes (find out more)

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2018

Coverage

Global

Availability

Data freely available

Partners

Iucn logo en

IUCN

Birdlife aug2013

BirdLife International

Un environment wcmc

UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Contact point

Indicator description

This indicator shows temporal trends in the mean percentage of each important site for mountain biodiversity (i.e., those that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity) that is covered by designated protected areas.

This indicator adds meaningful information to, complements and builds from traditionally reported simple statistics of mountain area covered by protected areas, computed by dividing the total protected area in mountains within a country by the total territorial area in mountains of the country and multiplying by 100 (Chape et al. 2005) . Such percentage area coverage statistics do not recognise the extreme variation of biodiversity importance over space (Rodrigues et al. 2004), and so risk generating perverse outcomes through the protection of areas which are large at the expense of those which require protection.

Related Aichi Targets

Primary target

14

Target 14:

By 2020, ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being, are restored and safeguarded, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities, and the poor and vulnerable.

Primary target

14

Target 14:

By 2020, ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being, are restored and safeguarded, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities, and the poor and vulnerable.

14

Related SDGs

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 15

GOAL 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Target 15.4| Official indicator

By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development.

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 15

GOAL 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 15

Themes

Bip policy

Policy & conservation actions

View related indicators >
Bip terrestrial

Terrestrial habitats

View related indicators >
Bip policy
Bip terrestrial

Partners

Iucn logo en
Birdlife aug2013
Un environment wcmc

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes (find out more)

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes (find out more)

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2018

Coverage

Global

Availability

Data freely available

Indicator description

This indicator shows temporal trends in the mean percentage of each important site for mountain biodiversity (i.e., those that contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity) that is covered by designated protected areas.

This indicator adds meaningful information to, complements and builds from traditionally reported simple statistics of mountain area covered by protected areas, computed by dividing the total protected area in mountains within a country by the total territorial area in mountains of the country and multiplying by 100 (Chape et al. 2005) . Such percentage area coverage statistics do not recognise the extreme variation of biodiversity importance over space (Rodrigues et al. 2004), and so risk generating perverse outcomes through the protection of areas which are large at the expense of those which require protection.

Contact point

Graphs / Diagrams

Figure. Protected area coverage (%) of mountain key biodiversity areas from 2000 to 2018

Current storyline

The proportion of mountain sites of particular importance for biodiversity that are covered by protected areas, continues to increase at an average annual rate of 0.6% globally. Protected area coverage of these sites is not evenly distributed however, being highest in North America and Europe, with 68% of each important site covered by protected areas on average, and lowest in Western Asia and Northern Africa (18.4%). Oceania is the region with the fastest growth in protected area coverage of mountain Key Biodiversity Areas (1% per annum on average) as well as the largest overall increase since 2000 (19%), while in West Asia and Northern Africa, protected area coverage has doubled since 2000. Mountains have unique biodiversity values and play an important function in regulating climate, as well as having multiple other ecosystem and cultural values that benefit people.

Indicator relationship to Aichi Target 14

Target 14: By 2020, ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being, are restored and safeguarded, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities and the poor and vulnerable.

The safeguard of important sites is vital for stemming the decline in biodiversity and ensuring long term and sustainable use of mountain natural resources. The establishment of protected areas is an important mechanism for achieving this aim, and this indicator serves as a means of measuring progress toward the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of mountain ecosystems and their services, in line with obligations under international agreements. Importantly, while it can be disaggregated to report on any given single ecosystem of interest, it is not restricted to any single ecosystem type, and so faithfully reflects the intent of SDG target 15.1.

Levels of access to protected areas vary among the protected area management categories. Some areas, such as scientific reserves, are maintained in their natural state and closed to any other use. Others are used for recreation or tourism, or even open for the sustainable extraction of natural resources. In addition to protecting biodiversity, protected areas have high social and economic value: supporting local livelihoods; protecting watersheds from erosion; harbouring an untold wealth of genetic resources; supporting thriving recreation and tourism industries; providing for science, research and education; and forming a basis for cultural and other non-material values.

Data and methodology

Coverage: Global/Sub-global/Regional/National

Scale: Aggregated from national data

Time series available: 1819-2018

Next planned update: The World Database on Protected Areas is updated monthly and the World Database on Key Biodiversity Areas is updated on an ongoing basis. The indicaotr is updated annually, and will next be updated in January 2019.

Possible disaggregations: Sub-global/Regional/National

Metadata used: For a description of metadata please see the SDG Indicator 15.4.1 factsheet, available here.

Methodology: This indicator is calculated from data derived from a spatial overlap between digital polygons for protected areas from the World Database on Protected Areas (UNEP-WCMC and IUCN 2018) , Key Biodiversity Areas (from the World Database of Key Biodiversity Areas, including Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, Alliance for Zero Extinction sites, and other Key Biodiversity Areas; available through the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool), and mountains (UNEP-WCMC et al. 2002) . The value of the indicator at a given point in time, based on data on the year of protected area establishment recorded in the World Database on Protected Areas, is computed as the mean percentage of each Key Biodiversity Area currently recognised that is covered by protected areas.

Year of protected area establishment is unknown for 12% of protected areas in the World Database on Protected Areas, generating uncertainty around changing protected area coverage over time. To reflect this uncertainty, a year was randomly assigned from another protected area within the same country, and this procedure repeated 1,000 times, with the median plotted.

National use of indicator

Producing this indicator nationally: Given that data for the global indicator are compiled at national levels, it is straightforward to disaggregate to national and regional levels (e.g. (Han et al. 2014)), or conversely to aggregate to the global level. Key Biodiversity Areas span all ecosystem types, including mountains (UNEP-WCMC et al. 2002; Rodríguez-Rodríguez et al. 2011) . The indicator can therefore be reported in combination across terrestrial and freshwater systems, or disaggregated among them. However, individual Key Biodiversity Areas can encompass terrestrial and freshwater (and indeed marine) systems simultaneously, and the results for different ecosystems are not simply additive.

Use of the global method and data at the national level:

National versions of this indicator are available on the country profiles in IBAT (https://www.ibat-alliance.org/ibat-conservation). All data are derived from the two key datasets, which are available for use pursuant to their respective terms and conditions.

The indicator methodology can be applied with in-country data to develop a national indicator.

Guidance on how to produce the indicator at the national level can be found in the SDG Indicator 15.4.1 metadata, found here.

Availability of global data for national use:

Freely available for non commercial use: www.protectedplanet.net and www.keybiodiversityareas.org/site/requestgis.

Available with agreements in place with providers: www.ibat-alliance.org/ibat-conservation.

Further resources

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes (find out more)

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes (find out more)

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2018

Coverage

Global

Availability

Data freely available

Partners

Iucn logo en

IUCN

Birdlife aug2013

BirdLife International

Un environment wcmc

UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Contact point