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Indicators of biodiversity change

The conservation of biodiversity requires indicators to monitor progress towards internationally agreed targets. Accurate and useful reporting on changes in biodiversity faces many challenges, such as: considering all species, not just the well known groups; capturing patterns and ecological processes at a fine spatial resolution; implementing a consistent reporting system for any region in the world, and; establishing sustainable access to data for long-term monitoring of indicators.

Our team has developed a variety of biodiversity indicators to report on changes in biodiversity, from local to global scales. This includes two indicators endorsed by the Convention on Biological Diversity for reporting against Aichi Targets. The Protected Area Representativeness and Connectedness Indices (PARC) represent the diversity of biological communities within a protected area system, as well as the level of connectedness of protected areas within the broader landscape. It is used to report on Aichi Target 11. The Biodiversity Habitat Index (BHI) represents the proportion of biodiversity retained within a given area (such as a country or an ecoregion) in relation to the degree of habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation experienced. It is used to report on Aichi Target 5.

These indicators have been implemented in the global and regional assessments undertaken by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES).