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About the Dashboard

The Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard displays trends in biodiversity, ecosystem services, threats, and conservation actions.

Similar to how the dashboard of an automobile informs the driver about the car’s speed and systems, the Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard provides conservation practitioners and policy makers with a quick view of the state and trends of biodiversity and conservation actions at regional, national, and river basin scales. Through charts, graphs, and maps, the Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard assembles information on a range of factors that reflect trends in the health of species and ecosystems as well as the threats to biodiversity.

Worldwide, billions of dollars are invested in conservation actions each year. How successful are these actions at stemming the loss of biodiversity? How are pressures on biodiversity changing, and where are the benefits from nature being realized? Answering these questions are key to directing future conservation investments. The answers also tell us how well governments are meeting the "Aichi Biodiversity Targets" they agreed to in 2010 under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard provides access to measures of these factors at a variety of spatial scales.

The Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard can help decision makers, donors, conservation practitioners, scientists, and others at a variety of levels to learn about the status of biodiversity, its benefits, and threats. 
Examples of how the Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard can help different users:

  • Representatives of multilateral agreements (e.g., Convention on Biological Diversity) can use the Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard to track a variety of indicators of national progress toward Aichi Targets.
  • Officials at governmental and intergovernmental agencies can check on national indicators of progress toward the Aichi Targets.
  • Conservation investors can help identify important sites for conservation investment, and assess the success or failure of past investments using counterfactual analysis.
  • Conservation practitioners can target activities where the need is greatest, compare conservation outcomes with those in other river basins or countries.
  • Representatives of technical agencies collecting monitoring data can submit monitoring results for inclusion on the Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard to reach a broad audience, including donors.

An indicator is a measure based on verifiable data that conveys information about more than the specific data set. For example, data on forest cover could be interpreted as an indicator of the following issues:

  • Change in forest resources as potential habitat
  • Progress in forest restoration
  • Change in forest carbon sequestration
  • Landscape condition from developmental pressure

Additional information can be found in the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership’s Guidance for National Biodiversity Indicator Development and Use.

The indicators in the Dashboard are grouped using the Pressure, State, Benefit, Response (PSBR) framework, which reflects a theory of change in establishing hypothesized connections among the components of the framework (see image below).

PSBR framework

Each indicator fits into one of four categories: Pressure, State, Benefit, or Response. The framework describes the relationship between the pressures human societies put on the state of ecosystem health; the benefits to human societies of improving the state of ecosystem health; and the responses designed to increase these benefits by reducing pressures. For example, the establishment of protected areas (conservation response) is predicted to reduce deforestation (pressure), which should in turn improve ecosystem health (state) and improve the quality of freshwater flowing to downstream human populations (benefit).

 

NatureServe works in collaboration with numerous institutions to compile data that support the indicators displayed on the Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard. Some indicators are available only for particular countries, whereas others are available globally. NatureServe disaggregates global data to create indicators at regional, national, river basin, and, in some cases, site scales.

The Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard now has global coverage for many indicators. Other indicators are available for more restricted geographies, including a number that focus on three regions: Tropical Andes, African Great Lakes, and Greater Mekong, with data for 22 countries. Global updates are planned for some of these in the future.

Indicators are available at one or more of the following geographic scales:

  • Site scale: Site scale data are currently available at two levels.
    • Protected Areas are delineated using the World Database of Protected Areas (WDPA), the most comprehensive global database on terrestrial and marine protected areas. The WDPA is compiled by UNEP-WCMC with support from the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.
    • Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) are sites contributing significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity. They are identified using globally standard criteria and thresholds, based on the needs of biodiversity requiring safeguards at the site scale. KBA criteria have recently been revised by a task force of the World Commission on Protected Areas. KBA-level data are currently available only in countries overlapping the MacArthur Foundation's focal regions (see Regional Scale, below).
  • Basin scale: River basin (i.e., watershed) scales (for basins located inside of country boundaries) are delineated using HydroShed, compiled as sub basins and published by FAO, 2012. For some indicators, basin-scale data are only available for basins overlapping the MacArthur Foundation's focal regions (see Regional Scale, below).
  • Country scale: Analyses were performed at the national scale for most indicators. The country areas analyzed are the entire country, including offshore islands.
  • Regional scale: Regional scale data are currently available for a few indicators at up to three levels.
    • MacArthur Foundation focal regions encompass the Tropical Andes of South America, the Great Lakes of East and Central Africa, and the Greater Mekong of Southeast Asia. Each region is delimited by their constituent major river basins.
    • FAO Global Ecological Zones are used by the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to present global and regional forest data. The FAO defines these zones as “a zone or area with broad yet relatively homogeneous natural vegetation formations, similar (not necessarily identical) in physiognomy. Boundaries of the EZs approximately coincide with the map of Köppen-Trewartha climatic types, which was based on temperature and rainfall. An exception to this definition are ‘Mountain systems,’ classified as one separate EZ in each Domain and characterized by a high variation in both vegetation formations and climatic conditions caused by large altitude and topographic variation.” The EZ map used by the Dashboard corresponds to the 2010 update, which mapped 19 different EZs.
    • CBD/WDPA regional divisions are used by the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) and the World Database of Protected Areas (WDPA) to summarize regional statistics based on geographically sensible country groups. There are 10 regional divisions including Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Middle East, North America, Oceania, South America, and Southern Oceans. The list of countries that these regional divisions encompass can be find in Annex 2 of the 2014 United Nations List of Protected Areas report

Each indicator has descriptive information, or metadata, that details the source of data, methodology used, and any specific information needed for correct interpretation. These metadata should be used to evaluate indicators for their suitability for particular uses.

To access the metadata for an indicator, click on the blue question mark next to the indicator name.

  • Visualization of spatial variation in numerous indicators
  • Visualization of temporal trends
  • User-selected scale of indicator data
  • Lookup of data for specific indicators
  • Descriptions of indicator trends
  • Information about data sources and the methods used to generate indicators
  • Export of maps to image format
  • Downloading of indicator data (selected indicators only)

Yes. If you have data that you would like to contribute to the Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard, please contact us.

NatureServe is the primary organization responsible for the development and maintenance of the Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard. A full list of collaborators and data providers can be found here.