The latest update of the UK Biodiversity Indicators (2019) has now been published
Biodiversity is the variety of all life on Earth: genes, species and ecosystems. It includes all species of animals and plants, and the natural systems that support them. Biodiversity matters because it supports the vital benefits humans get from the natural environment. It contributes to the economy, health and wellbeing, and it enriches our lives. Indicators are useful tools for summarising and communicating broad trends. The UK biodiversity indicators have a specific purpose for international reporting and are dependent on a wide variety of data, provided by government, research bodies, and the voluntary sector – in total nearly 100 organisations are involved. The presentation and assessment of the indicators has been verified by the data providers, and the production and editing of the indicators has been overseen by government statisticians. The UK biodiversity indicators set comprises 24 indicators and 49 measures. Twenty-four of the 41 measures assessed over the long term show an improvement, compared to 18 of the 38 measures that are assessed over the short term. Twelve measures show a decline in the long term, and nine a decline in the short term. Measures that improved or deteriorated in the long term have not necessarily continued to improve or deteriorate respectively in the short term.
Key changes to the indicator set since the previous publication are:
- Temporary removal of the Awareness indicator (A1) due to late discovery of an error.
- A new indicator on the Integration of biodiversity considerations into business activity (A5);
- Refinements to the Sustainable fisheries and Large fish index indicators (B2 and D1a);
- Expansion of the coverage of the experimental statistic on Connectivity (C2) to include birds as well as butterflies;
- Refinements to the species coverage of the Priority species indicators (C4a and C4b), the Bats indicator (C8), and the Status of pollinating insects (D1c).
- Inclusion of trends for farmland and woodland butterflies at UK scale in the Butterflies fiche (C6);
- UK public expenditure on international biodiversity (E2c) refined to include a wider range of projects within Official Development Assistance funding.