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Living Planet Index

Indicator description

The Living Planet Index (LPI) is calculated using time-series data on more than 14,000 populations of over 3,700 vertebrate species from around the globe. The LPI uses data that is of high temporal resolution and spatially explicit through being tied to a particular location. This allows for recording of metadata on local threats and conservation action and allows for disaggregation at different scales. The LPI data are accessible online through the Living Planet Database (www.livingplanetindex.org).

Related Aichi Targets

Primary target

12

Target 12:

By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.

Secondary targets

Target 5:

By 2020, the rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced.

Target 6:

By 2020 all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem based approaches, so that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species, fisheries have no significant adverse impacts on threatened species and vulnerable ecosystems and the impacts of fisheries on stocks, species and ecosystems are within safe ecological limits.

Primary target

12

Target 12:

By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.

5
12
6

Related SDGs

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GOAL 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Target 14.2| Relevant indicator

By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.

Target 14.4| Relevant indicator

By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics.

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GOAL 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Target 15.1| Relevant indicator

By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.

Target 15.4| Relevant indicator

By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development.

Target 15.5| Relevant indicator

Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.

Target 15.7| Relevant indicator

Take urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species of flora and fauna and address both demand and supply of illegal wildlife products.

Target 15.8| Relevant indicator

By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species.

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GOAL 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

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GOAL 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

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Other related MEAs and processes

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CITES

Target 1.7| Relevant indicator

Parties are enforcing the Convention to reduce illegal wildlife trade.

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CMS

Target 5| Relevant indicator

Governments, key sectors and stakeholders at all levels have taken steps to achieve or have implemented plans for sustainable production and consumption, keeping the impacts of natural resource use on migratory species well within safe ecological limits to promote the favourable conservation status of migratory species and maintain the quality, integrity, resilience, and connectivity of their habitats and migratory routes.

Target 6| Relevant indicator

Fisheries and hunting have no significant direct or indirect adverse impacts on migratory species, their habitats or their migration routes, and impacts of fisheries and hunting are within safe ecological limits.

Target 7| Relevant indicator

Multiple anthropogenic pressures have been brought to levels that are not detrimental to the conservation of migratory species or to the functioning, integrity, ecological connectivity and resilience of their habitats.

Target 8| Relevant indicator

The conservation status of threatened migratory species has considerably improved throughout their range.

Target 11| Relevant indicator

Migratory species and their habitats which provide important ecosystem services are maintained at or restored to favourable conservation status, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities , and the poor and vulnerable.

Target 15| Relevant indicator

The science base, information, awareness, understanding and technologies relating to migratory species, their habitats and migratory systems, their value, functioning, status and trends, and the consequences of their loss, are improved, widely shared and transferred, and effectively applied.

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IPBES Global Assessment Chapters

Chapter 2| Official indicator

Status and trends; indirect and direct drivers of change

Chapter 3| Official indicator

Progress towards meeting major international objectives related to biodiversity and ecosystem services

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IPBES Regional Assessment Chapters

Chapter 3| Official indicator

Status, trends and future dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystems underpinning nature’s benefits to people

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Ramsar

Target 4| Relevant indicator

Invasive alien species and pathways of introduction and expansion are identified and prioritized, priority invasive alien species are controlled or eradicated, and management responses are prepared and implemented to prevent their introduction and establishment.

Target 5| Relevant indicator

The ecological character of Ramsar Sites is maintained or restored, through effective planning and integrated management

Target 7| Relevant indicator

Sites that are at risk of change of ecological character have threats addressed.

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UNCCD

Expected impact 3.1| Relevant indicator

Sustainable land management and combating desertification/land degradation contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the mitigation of climate change.

Cites high resolution

CITES

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CMS

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IPBES Global Assessment Chapters

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IPBES Regional Assessment Chapters

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Ramsar

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UNCCD

Cites high resolution
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Themes

Marine

Marine & freshwater habitats

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Bip terrestrial

Terrestrial habitats

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Marine
Bip species
Bip terrestrial

Partners

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Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2016

Coverage

Global

Availability

Freely available

Indicator description

The Living Planet Index (LPI) is calculated using time-series data on more than 14,000 populations of over 3,700 vertebrate species from around the globe. The LPI uses data that is of high temporal resolution and spatially explicit through being tied to a particular location. This allows for recording of metadata on local threats and conservation action and allows for disaggregation at different scales. The LPI data are accessible online through the Living Planet Database (www.livingplanetindex.org).

Contact point

Graphs / Diagrams


Figure 1. Global Living Planet Index, 1970-2012. Source: WWF & ZSL, 2016.

Current storyline

The Living Planet Index measures trends in the size of populations of threatened and non-threatened vertebrate species. The data can be used to assess if conservation actions are successful and if the status of threatened species at the population level has changed.

The global Living Planet Index shows a 58% decline from 1970 to 2012 meaning that on average, vertebrate populations have declined in abundance over this 42 year period.

Data and methodology

Coverage:

Global time series (1970 onwards).

Regional time series: (Arctic; 1970 onwards).

Scale:

Aggregated from species data.

Aggregated from regional data.

Aggregated from system data.

Time series available: 1970 -

Next planned update: 2018.

Possible disaggregations: Regional level, national level.

Metadata used: Population level threats and management actions; migratory behaviour; protected area information; species listing on the IUCN Red list and CITES/CMS appendices; summary taxonomic, geographic and ecological data; data quality measures.

Methodology: The LPI is not only a global index but can also be calculated for selected regions, nations, biomes or taxonomic groups, provided that there are sufficient data available. The Living Planet Index (LPI) is calculated using time-series data on more than 14,000 populations of over 3,700 species of mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish from all around the globe. The changes in the population of each species are aggregated and shown as an index relative to 1970, which is given a value of 1. The LPI can be thought of as a biological analogue of a stock market index that tracks the value of a set of stocks and shares traded on an exchange.

The Global Living Planet Index is the aggregate of three equally-weighted indices of vertebrate populations from terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems. All three system LPIs also show a decline – terrestrial at 38%, marine at 36% whereas freshwater systems are faring worse with a decline of 81% since 1970. The method has recently been adapted with a new weighting procedure to give a better representation of global vertebrate diversity and to correct for a bias towards well studied species from Europe and North America. The result is a steeper decline than in other versions of the LPI as a result of placing more weight on highly diverse regions and species groups which, on average, are declining faster. The results of the LPI are published biennially in the Living Planet Report.

National use of indicator

Producing this indicator nationally: The LPI is not only a global index but can also be calculated for regions and nations, provided that there are sufficient data available. LPIs have been produced for Uganda, Canada, Mediterranean Wetlands and the Arctic. At present, data submitted by nations and regions can be sent directly to the responsible organisations for the LPI, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Work has now been completed to make the database available online in the form of the Living Planet Database (www.livingplanetindex.org) with a view to encourage nations and regions to submit their data to produce both their own indicators and strengthen the global indicator. The code for running the LPI calculation will be made open source, but collaboration with the partner organisations is encouraged for producing new disaggregations of the LPI. For more information about producing regional and national Living Planet Indices, please contact Louise McRae (louise.mcrae@ioz.ac.uk) or Robin Freeman (robin.freeman@ioz.ac.uk).

Use at the national level: LPIs have been produced for a number of different regions and countries. In 2006, 2008 and 2010, the LPI was applied at the national level to assess vertebrate trends in Uganda for their State of Uganda’s Biodiversity reports. In 2008, the indicator formed the basis for an assessment of the change in population abundance in wetlands across the Mediterranean region (static.zsl.org/files/med-wetlands-report-1061.pdf). The project has had a long-standing collaboration with the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council. This has resulted in a number of reports, such as the Arctic Species Trend Index (ASTI) in 2010 and an update in 2011, which focussed particularly on marine populations (www.caff.is/asti/asti-publications). National indicators based on the LPI method have also been produced for China and the Netherlands. Most recently, the LPI has been used to assess trends in Canadian species, the Canadian Species Index.

Further resources

Websites

Living Planet reports 2000-2016 (WWF, Global footprint Network & ZSL)

地球生命力报告 2 0 0 8 (WWF, Global Footprint Network & ZSL 2008).

Publications and reports

Living Planet Index in Living Planet Report 2016: Risk and resilience in a new era (McRae et al. 2016).

Modest recovery of biodiversity in a western European country: The Living Planet Index for the Netherlands (van Strien et al. 2016).

Wildlife population trends in protected areas predicted by national socio-economic metrics and body size (Barnes et al. 2016).

Global biodiversity indicators reflect the modeled impacts of protected area policy change (Costelloe et al. 2015).

Living Planet Index in Living Planet Report 2014: species and spaces, people and places (McRae et al. 2014).

Use it or lose it: measuring trends in wild species subject to substantial use (Tierney et al. 2014).

Tracking changes in abundance: Living Planet Index. In: Biodiversity Monitoring & Conservation: Bridging the gap between global commitment and local action (Collen et al. 2013).

Making robust policy decisions using global biodiversity indicators (Nicholson et al. 2012).

The Arctic Species Trend Index: using vertebrate population trends to monitor the health of this rapidly changing ecosystem (McRae et al. 2012).

The Arctic Species Trend Index 2011: Update of the ASTI, an in-depth look at marine species and development of spatial analysis techniques (Eamer et al. 2012).

The Living Planet Index. In: African Living Planet Report 2012 (McRae et al. 2012).

Long term trends in the abundance of Mediterranean wetland vertebrates: from global recovery to localized declines (Galewski et al. 2011).

Arctic Species Trend Index 2010: Tracking Trends in Arctic Wildlife (McRae et al. 2010).

Living Planet Index in: Living Planet Report 2010 (Loh et al. 2010).

Evolution Lost: status & trends of the world's vertebrates (Baillie et al. 2010).

Large mammal population declines in Africa’s Protected Areas (Craigie et al. 2010).

Monitoring change in vertebrate abundance: the Living Planet Index (Collen et al. 2009)

Living Planet Index: Guidance for national and regional use. Version 1.1. (2010 BIP, WWF & ZSL 2008).

The Living Planet Index for Migratory Species: an index of change in population abundance (ZSL 2008).

Towards an observatory of Mediterranean wetlands: evolution of biodiversity from 1970 to the present (Tour du Valat & MedWet Initiative 2008).

Hacia un Observatorio de HM - Evolucion de la biodiversidad desde 1970 hasta nuestros dias (Tour du Valat & MedWet Initiative 2008).

Ж И В А Я П Л А Н Е Т А – 2 0 0 8 (WWF, Global Footprint Network & ZSL 2008)

Vers un Observatoire des ZHM - Evolution de la biodiversité de 1970 à nos jours (Tour du Valat & MedWet Initiative 2008).

2010 and Beyond: Rising to the biodiversity challenge (WWF, ZSL & Global Footprint Network 2008).

Canada Living Planet Report 2007 (WWF, ZSL & Global Footprint Network 2007).

Living Planet Report 2008 (WWF, Global Footprint Network & ZSL 2008).

Informe Planeta Vivo 2008 (WWF, Global Footprint Network & ZSL 2008).

Rapports Planéte Vivante 2008 (WWF, Global Footprint Network & ZSL 2008).

IT: Living Planet Report 2008 (WWF, Global Footprint Network & ZSL 2008).

DEUTSCH: Living Planet Report 2008 (WWF, Global Footprint Network & ZSL 2008).

DUTCH: Living Planet Report 2008 (WWF, Global Footprint Network & ZSL 2008).

The Living Planet Index: using species population time series to track trends in biodiversity (Loh et al. 2005).