Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Tracking Progress Toward the 2010 Biodiversity Target and Beyond

By Matt Walpole

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

What is it:
Aims to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 by setting up a framework of biodiversity indicators that ideally allows decision-makers to understand how targets are globally met or unmet, past and future trends/changes, and improve appropriate indicators in order to identify how biodiversity loss affects people and how to prioritize decisions for action.

There are 22 Headline Indicators

5 are not being developed on a global scale
-Problems of status of access and benefit sharing

17 are subdivided into 29 actual measures
-9 of the subsets are actually well-developed with established methodologies, global coverage and time-series data points spanning over at least 10 years
(Problem: doesn’t cover Antarctica, tropical and temperate regions, and developed or developing countries)

The most well developed direct measures of biodiversity are species indicators:

1. IUCN Red List Index (RLI)
2. Living Planet Index (LPI)

Still have limitations because of small number of taxonomic groups assessed and tropical species are poorly represented.

Well-Developed Global Indicator Challenges:

1. Data availability
2. Consistency
3. Relevance
4. Weak Indicators-ex. Forest cover is great for timber stock assessment but not biodiversity. Ex. Protected areas is great to signal government commitment but not in relaying effectiveness in reducing biodiversity loss.
5. Patchy information on genetic or ecosystem changes
6. Improvement according to taxonomic, geographical, and temporal coverage
7. Climate change threats on biodiversity

What’s needed:
1. Better satellite imagery to track changes over time and help make meaningful metrics
2. How to translate local and regional studies to global indicators
3. Trackers for wild species (domesticated and cultivated already covered)
4. Range of disciplines must be engaged to prevent biodiversity loss (Geophysics, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Agronomy, and Health)

Future:
Conference of the Parties (COP) will review CBDs progress and agree on a new set of targets and revised indicator framework in October 2010.
1. Indicators must show greater linkage to each other and to targets
2. Headline Indicators to include: Pressure Threats, Status-Trends, Benefits-Services, and Actions-Responses

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