Sufficiency and Suitability of Global Biodiversity Indicators for Monitoring Progress to 2020 Targets

Chris J. Mcowen, Sarah Ivory, Matthew J.R. Dixon, Eugenie C. Regan, Andreas Obrecht, Derek P. Tittensor, Anne Teller, Anna M. Chenery

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Biodiversity indicators are widely used tools to help determine rates of biodiversity change and the success or failure of efforts to conserve it. However, their sufficiency and suitability in providing information for decision-makers is unclear. Here, we review the indicators brought together under the Biodiversity Indicator Partnership to monitor progress towards the Aichi Targets to determine where there are gaps. Of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, Targets 2, 3, and 15 are missing indicators entirely. Scoring the indicators in relation to their alignment, temporal relevance and spatial scale shows additional gaps under Targets 1, 13, and 16–20. Predominately, gaps were found to be socio-economic in nature (i.e., benefits, pressures, and responses) rather than status-related (i.e., states), principally due to a poor alignment between the indicator and the text of the Aichi Target. Hence, it is critical that existing indicators are properly resourced and maintained and new indicators developed to be able to effectively monitor biodiversity and its influencing factors to 2020 and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-494
Number of pages6
JournalConservation Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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