With global biodiversity in rapid decline, a continued objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity is to reduce its rate of loss significantly. Measuring progress towards achieving this goal relies on indicators of biodiversity, but a group of CCI partners realised that the existing diverse, but isolated, indicators were not enough.

The team’s idea was to link indicators together to show the connections between the system they are intended to monitor. For example, rather than just using a measure such as tropical forest extent to indicate the state of biodiversity, They linked this with three other components representing level of protection, sustainable use and benefits to people to show how policies are directly connected to pressures, drivers, and outcomes. If the area of tropical forest is declining, governments and conservation agencies also need to know why this is happening, how policies can make a difference, and the resulting benefits humans would derive from halting the decline.

With support from CCI’s Collaborative Fund, a robust scientific approach from the University collaborators was linked with the conservation organisations’ expertise in promoting idea to policy-makers. Using humid tropical forests and marine fisheries as examples, the team used real data to demonstrate how indicators of biodiversity can be linked to aid decision making at local and national scales.

“It would have been difficult for any of the organisations involved in this project to do it alone – it needed to be a collaboration to work. People with different experience contributed ideas and examples, and that’s given us a shared sense of ownership that is immensely valuable in promoting the linked indicators concept beyond CCI.” – Rhys Green, Principal Research Biologist and RSPB/Honorary Professor of Conservation Science, Department of Zoology

More details about the project, and links to the resulting booklet and published paper, can be found at: www.cambridgeconservation.org/collaboration/numbers-drive-policy-conservation-linked-indicator-sets-post-2010-cbd-framework