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Linked Indicators

Under the previous Convention on Biological Diversity indicator framework, each of the indicators existed in isolation. It was not clear how they relate to each other, nor how they can be used to assess and inform policies for stemming biodiversity loss. 

The BIP worked as part of a Cambridge Conservation Initiative project to show the feasibility of establishing linkages between different types of indicators to provide decision-makers with the tools they need to tackle biodiversity loss effectively.  Other project Partners include UNEP-WCMC, BirdLife International, and the University of Cambridge.


Joined-up thinking

Biodiversity indicators are easier to understand, communicate and act upon when they are linked together in a set that connects policies to outcomes.

Four kinds of indicators are needed to make a joined-up set:

• Responses – policies or actions to prevent or reduce biodiversity loss.

• Pressures – the threats to biodiversity that responses aim to address.

• State – the condition of biodiversity and how it is changing.

• Benefits – amount and change in benefits and services that humans derive from biodiversity.

Linking indicators of these four types together makes it clear if, and how, policy responses are making a difference.  The usefulness and practicality of this approach is demonstrated for two sectors: humid tropical forests and marine fisheries.

Marine Fisheries

Humid Tropical Forests


The examples demonstrate that in each case, indicators can be used to measure the implementation of policies, their effect on the pressures of biodiversity, the consequences for the state of biodiversity, and the impacts on the availability of benefits (ecosystem services) that people derive from biodiversity.


2010 BIP Indicator Synthesis

A 2010 BIP paper published in leading journal science represents the first assessment of how targets made through the 2002 CBD have not been met.


The synthesis combined over thirty indicators and is the first time this approach has been used.

For more information and to view the full article click here



Future BIP Work on linked indicators

The 2010 BIP is continuing to work on linking indicators and will be releasing a number of thematic storylines throughout 2010. The first of storyline will link indicators relating to biodiversity and traditional knowledge.


Coming Soon!


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