This document gives an overview of the components and recommendations for selecting and using biodiversity indicators at the national and regional scales. The information in this document compliments and builds upon the information found in the 'Indicator Development' section of this website.
It is evident that a variety of approaches are used by countries in order to assess their progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in Part III of their National Reports. This document aims to identify and summarise these approaches, and the strengths, limitations and considerations for use of each of these.
Review of the global indicator suite, key global gaps and indicator options for future assessment of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020
The Terms of Reference for the AHTEG on Indicators for the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 (decision XII/1), called on the AHTEG to ‘identify a small set of measureable potential indicators that could be used to monitor progress at the global level towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets with a focus on those that are currently not well addressed and those that may be relevant to the United Nations post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals’. This document has been developed to support the AHTEG by identifying gaps in the current suite of indicators brought together under the BIP, building upon the indicative list of indicators adopted in decision XI/3 and reviewing potential indicators to fill these gaps. This document is not a report on the state of the world’s indicators.
In 2010, the international community, under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity, agreed on 20 biodiversity-related “Aichi Targets” to be achieved within a decade. We provide a comprehensive mid-term assessment of progress toward these global targets using 55 indicator data sets.We projected indicator trends to 2020 using an adaptive statistical framework that incorporated the specific properties of individual time series. On current trajectories, results suggest that despite accelerating policy and management responses to the biodiversity crisis, the impacts of these efforts are unlikely to be reflected in improved trends in the state of biodiversity by 2020. We highlight areas of societal endeavor requiring additional efforts to achieve the Aichi Targets, and provide a baseline against which to assess future progress.
Published almost at the halfway point of the 2011–2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, this fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4) provides a timely report: on progress towards meeting the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets and potential actions to accelerate that progress; on prospects for achieving the 2050 Vision on ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’; and on the importance of biodiversity in meeting broader goals for sustainable human development during this century.
This Outlook presents some stark choices for human societies. On one hand it warns that the diversity of living things on the planet continues to be eroded as a result of human activities. The pressures driving the loss of biodiversity show few signs of easing, and in some cases are escalating. The consequences of current trends are much worse than previously thought, and place in doubt the continued provision of vital ecosystem services. The poor stand to suffer disproportionately from potentially catastrophic changes to ecosystems in coming decades, but ultimately all societies stand to lose. On the other hand, the Outlook offers a message of hope. The options for addressing the crisis are wider than was apparent in earlier studies. Determined action to conserve biodiversity and use it sustainably will reap rich rewards. It will benefit people in many ways - through better health, greater food security and less poverty. It will safeguard the variety of nature, an objective justified in its own right according to a range of belief systems and moral codes. It will help to slow climate change by enabling ecosystems to absorb and store more carbon; and it will help people adapt to climate change by adding resilience to ecosystems and making them less vulnerable.