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EU and UK Biodiversity Indicators James Williams Joint Nature Conservation Committee Monkstone House, City Road, Peterborough, PE1 1JY. United Kingdom. James.Williams@jncc.gov.uk +44 (0)1733 86 68 68 www.jncc.gov.uk/biyp


The 2010 target

to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on earth”

•  CBD COP-6 (2002) •  WSSD, Jo’burg (2002) •  UNGA MDG Summit (2006) •  MDG Framework (2007)


SEBI 2010 •  Initiated in 2005 to select a set of indicators to monitor •  • 

progress towards 2010 in Europe Built on the conceptual framework provided by the CBD, and worked with a set of headline indicators within the CBD focal areas. Process: –  Coordination Team –  Experts sought from all countries –  6 EG, 3 WGs

•  A lot of meetings!


Choosing Indicators Each indicator should have the following characteristics: •  Policy relevant and meaningful •  Biodiversity relevant •  Scientifically sound and methodologically well founded •  Show progress towards the 2010 target •  Easy to understand •  Based on affordable monitoring, available and routinely collected data •  Amenable to modelling of cause-effect relationships •  Good spatial and temporal coverage of data •  Applicable at a national scale •  Aggregation possible at a range of scales •  Sensitive to change The set as a whole should be: •  Representative •  Limited in number


26 SEBI indicators 1. Abundance and distribution of selected species

14. Fragmentation of river systems

2. Red List Index for European species

15. Nutrients in transitional, coastal and marine waters

3. Species of European interest

16. Freshwater quality

4. Ecosystem coverage

17. Forest: Growing stock, increment and fellings

5. Habitats of European interest

18. Forest: Deadwood

6. Livestock genetic diversity

19. Agriculture: Nitrogen balance

7. Nationally designated protected areas

20. Agriculture: Area under management practices potentially supporting biodiversity

8. Sites designated under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives

21. Fisheries: European commercial fish stocks

9. Critical load exceedance for nitrogen

22. Aquaculture: Effluent water quality from finfish farms

10. Invasive alien species in Europe

23. Ecological Footprint of European countries

11. Impact of climatic change on bird populations

24. Patent applications based on genetic resources

12. Marine Trophic Index of European seas

25. Financing biodiversity management

13. Fragmentation of natural and semi-natural areas

26. Public awareness


Scoring the criteria


Geographical coverage


The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) •  The UK published its first national biodiversity action plan in January 1994 in response to Article 6 of the CBD. •  The Plan was given a new strategic framework in 2007, “to reflect the changing context brought about by issues such as devolution within the UK, climate change, and internationally agreed targets to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss globally by 2010”.


Country Strategies

Scotland  

Northern   Ireland  

Wales  

England  


Implementing the UK BAP (1) •  •  •  • 

Biodiversity is not a separate activity but needs to be integrated with other sectors. We’ve worked to develop an ecosystems approach – environment, economy and human well-being We need to involve all the key parties – Government and statutory agencies, NGOs, business, academia, and the botanical gardens and museums – round the table If we can maintain and create functional combinations of habitats, these will deliver both ecosystem services and homes for our priority species.


Implementing the UK BAP (2) •  • 

•  •  •  • 

It has been helpful to set targets for particular species and habitats and work toward achieving these. But we can’t set individual targets for a very long list of species, for marine species and habitats, and for organisms that are small and difficult to count. Then it makes more sense to manage habitats for the range of niches that species need. Devolution demands that we regionalise the targets. Regions need to be engaged in contributing to meeting national targets, and also to set targets for their own regions. We need to engage people in conserving biodiversity in their local areas. A sound evidence base is critical to effective conservation Indicators help to drive policy, but need to used carefully


UK 2010 indicators •  •  •  •  • 

Set of 18 headline indicators: Focus on biodiversity outcomes Mapped to CBD and EU frameworks Use existing data sources (avoid new burdens) First published in hardcopy June 2007 •  Website update May 2008, April 2009 •  Hardcopy update May 2009 •  Hardcopy and web update May 2010 •  Provides core of UK CBD 4th National Report •  Communication vehicle for biodiversity beyond 2010 •  www.jncc.gov.uk/biyp


UK Biodiversity Indicators (1) EU/CBD Focal Areas

UK Indicators 1. Trends in populations of selected species: (a) wild birds; (b) butterflies; (c) bats 2. Plant diversity in the wider countryside

Status and trends of the components of biological diversity

3. Status of Priority Species 4. Status of Priority Habitats 5. Genetic diversity 6 (a) Extent of protected areas and; (b) Proportion of features of in favourable condition. 7. Proportion of woodland area under certified management

Sustainable use

8. Area of land under agri-environment scheme agreement 9. Proportion of commercially exploited fish stocks around the UK harvested sustainably.


UK Biodiversity Indicators (2) EU/CBD Focal Areas UK Indicators Threats to biodiversity Ecosystem integrity and ecosystem goods and services Status of resource transfers and use Public opinion

10. Ecological impacts of air pollution 11. Invasive species 12. Timing of biological events 13. Marine ecosystem integrity 14. Habitat connectivity 15. Rivers of good chemical and biological quality 16. Public sector environmental protection expenditure on biodiversity in the UK 17. UK Government funding for conservation of global biodiversity 18. Volunteer time spent in conservation


Traffic light assessments

Improving Little or no overall change Deteriorating

Insufficient or no comparable data

•  Two assessment periods: •  Long-term – assessment of change since the earliest date for which data are available. •  If data do not precede 1996 a long term assessment is not made. •  Short-term - assessment of change since 2000


Indicator 1a. Populations of selected species (birds)

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status and trends of the components of biological diversity


Indicator 15. Biological river quality

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Ecosystem integrity and ecosystem goods and services


Indicator 14. Habitat connectivity Further analysis is required to better explain the causes of the changes in connectivity (which may be due to changes in the extent of the habitat or changes around the habitat blocks). Until this analysis has been undertaken, the current information is insufficient for an assessment of change to be made, despite the statistically significant increase seen in connectivity in neutral grassland habitat.

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Ecosystem integrity and ecosystem goods and services


As published May 2010

UK Biodiversity Indicators 2010


Summary of UK experience •  A ‘basket’ of indicators shows breadth of UK •  •  •  • 

Biodiversity Action Plan and CBD commitments. Headline indicators are a communication tool for the UK – keep it simple, streamlined and relevant. Indicators need to be supported by evidence (surveillance, monitoring and research). Helps UK to make an effective contribution to European and global assessments. Easy to apply international frameworks to existing UK/country indicators and data.


Thank You / Obrigado

Questions? Discussion


Indicator 1a. Populations of selected species (birds)

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status and trends of the components of biological diversity


Indicator 1b. Populations of selected species (butterflies)

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status and trends of the components of biological diversity


Indicator 1c. Populations of selected species (bats)

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status and trends of the components of biological diversity


Indicator 2. Plant Diversity

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status and trends of the components of biological diversity


Indicator 3. Status of UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status and trends of the components of biological diversity


Indicator 4. Status of UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitats

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status and trends of the components of biological diversity


Indicator 5. Genetic Diversity

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status and trends of the components of biological diversity


Indicator 6. Extent and condition of UK protected areas

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status and trends of the components of biological diversity


Indicator 7. Woodland Management

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Sustainable Use


Indicator 8. Area of land under Agri-environment scheme management

Focal Area: Sustainable Use

As published May 2010


Indicator 9. Sustainable fisheries

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Sustainable Use


Indicator 10. Ecological impacts of air pollution

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Threats to biodiversity


Indicator 11. Impact of invasive species

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Threats to biodiversity


Indicator 12. Spring index

This is a contextual indicator and as such is not assessed.

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Threats to biodiversity


Indicator 13. Marine ecosystem integrity

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Ecosystem integrity and ecosystem goods and services


Indicator 14. Habitat connectivity Further analysis is required to better explain the causes of the changes in connectivity (which may be due to changes in the extent of the habitat or changes around the habitat blocks). Until this analysis has been undertaken, the current information is insufficient for an assessment of change to be made, despite the statistically significant increase seen in connectivity in neutral grassland habitat.

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Ecosystem integrity and ecosystem goods and services


Indicator 15. Biological river quality

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Ecosystem integrity and ecosystem goods and services


Indicator 16. UK biodiversity expenditure

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status of resource transfers and use


Indicator 17. Global biodiversity expenditure

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Status of resource transfers and use


Indicator 18. Conservation volunteering

As published May 2010

Focal Area: Public awareness and participation


UK Biodiversity Indicators 2010 Assessment of change by focal area and for all measures

As published May 2010


Choosing Indicators 1.  Policy relevant and meaningful: Each indicator should be policy relevant. It should send a clear message at a level appropriate for policy and management decision making. It should be meaningful on a regional level. 2.  Biodiversity relevant: Each indicator should be relevant for biodiversity. 3.  Scientifically sound and methodologically well founded: A clear description of the methodology used should be available as the indicator may be used in other indicator initiatives also. 4.  Progress towards target: Each indicator should show progress towards the 2010 target. 5.  Broad acceptance and understandability: Each indicator should be easy to understand and to document. R


Choosing Indicators 6.  Affordable monitoring, available and routinely collected data: Each indicator should be able to be updated regularly. 7.  Affordable modelling: Information on cause-effect relationships should be achievable and quantifiable. 8.  Spatial and temporal coverage of data: the data should be consistent in space and cover all or most of [select spatial resolution]. The temporal coverage of data should be as long as possible, and relevant to the timescale for policy making. 9.  National scale and representativeness of data: Each indicator should apply to the national and relevant supra-national. 10. Sensitive: Each indicator should be able to detect changes in systems in timeframes and on the scales that are relevant to policy decisions, but also be robust so that measuring errors do not affect their interpretation.

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