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The UK is committed to targets under international biodiversity agreements
to value, conserve and restore biodiversity, which is the variety of life on
earth ranging from genes to ecosystems.

The four UK nations will each develop new 10-year biodiversity strategies in
response to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that will be agreed
at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity
(CBD) in October 2021. The Environment Bill, which also contains biodiversity
commitments, was announced in the Queen’s speech and has been carried
over from the previous Parliamentary session; its progress will continue this
year.

One of the ways in which it will be possible to determine success against
biodiversity targets will be through the use of biodiversity indicators, which
are designed to summarise and communicate trends in complex biodiversity
monitoring data.

Individual indicators monitor specific aspects of biodiversity, such as
genetic diversity or the change in abundance of a group of species. Multiple
indicators (sometimes called suites of indicators) can be used to assess and
infer information about the state of biodiversity as a whole.

Various suites of indicators have been developed at the UK and devolved
levels. The complex nature of biodiversity itself along with the availability,
volume, quality and breadth of the underlying biodiversity monitoring data,
has led to diversified approaches to the development and application of
biodiversity indicators between nations.

The representation of species, habitats and facets of biodiversity in headline
biodiversity indicators at the UK and country level varies between the suites
of indicators.

Acknowledgements

POSTnotes are based on literature reviews and interviews with a range of stakeholders and are externally peer-reviewed. POST would like to thank interviewees and peer reviewers for kindly giving up their time during the preparation of this briefing, including:

Dr Abigail McQuatters-Gollop, University of Plymotuh

Dr Amy Molotoks, Stockholm Environment Institute – York

Andy Nisbet, Natural England

Jane Lusardi, Natural England

Professor Andy Purvis, Natural History Museum*

Caryn Le Roux, Welsh Government

Sara Lloyd-Mackay, Welsh Government

Steve Sopde, Welsh Government*

Dr Christopher Lynam, Cefas

Dave Johnston, Natural Resources Wales*

David O’Brien, NatureScot*

Dr Emily Dennis, Butterfly Conservation

Dr James Williams, Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)*

Christine Holleran, Defra

Dr Jasmin Godbold, University of Southampton

Professor Martin Solan, University of Southampton

Jemilah Vanderpump, Defra

Dr Katherine Boughey, Bat conservation Trust

Mark Preston, DAERA Northern Ireland

Ken Bradley, DAERA Northern Ireland

Richard Gray, DAERA Northern Ireland

Matthew Bird, The Scottish Government

Dr Nick Isaac, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Dr Oliver Pescott, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Dr Nisha Owen, On The Edge Conservation

Dr Prue Addison, Berks, Bucks, and Oxon Wildlife Trust

Professor Richard Gregory, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)*

Professor Steve Ormerod, Cardiff University

Dr Josie Jackson, Cardiff University*

Dr Tim Newbold, University College London

* denotes people and organisations who acted as external reviewers of the briefing.


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