Three ecosystem indicators (Ecosystem Area Index, Ecosystem Health Index, and Red List Index of Ecosystems) developed by the RLE team have been accepted by the Biodiversity Indicator Partnership (BIP) and are now available to view on the BIP website.
BIP is the partnership developed to provide indicators to support Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and other biodiversity-related Conventions, such as the Sustainable Development Goals. The BIP website provides summaries of the aims, methods and current storyline shown by each indicator.
A new set of ambitious targets are being developed to meet the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) vision for 2050. New indicators, including the three ecosystem indicators, have been identified to support the revised goals and targets of this post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
Indicators summarising the status and trends of ecosystems at national and global levels are critical to provide a clear picture of how ecosystems are changing and to achieving positive conservation outcomes. Ecosystems are complex, so measuring change in ecosystems has been challenging.
The ecosystem indicators developed by the RLE team provide a valuable addition to the biodiversity monitoring toolkit. They can monitor past and likely future changes across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems at national up to global levels, and are supported by the vast datasets collated in RLE assessments. The ecosystem indicators include (Fig 1):
1. Red List Index of Ecosystems (RLIE) – summarises the status and trends in the risk of ecosystem collapse
2. Ecosystem Area Index (EAI) – measures change in ecosystem extent
3. Ecosystem Health Index (EHI) – measures ecosystem degradation from changes in integrity of the biological and physical parts of ecosystems
The ecosystem indicators were originally published in Conservation Letters. A paper testing the indicators to ensure they reliably depict how biodiversity is changing the was published in Ecological Indicators.
Links in this article:
Three ecosystem indicators
Link to RLE resources where there are R scripts to calculate the indicators: https://iucnrle.org/resources/capacity-building/