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Biodiversity Indicators in Your Pocket - BIYP

Updated 2008

The first version of 'Biodiversity Indicators in Your Pocket' was published in June 2007. The publication includes an introduction to and overview of the set of indicators, and further includes the graph and headline messages for each indicator. The indicators within these webpages provide, in addition, updated data for several of the indicators as at March 2008, detailed assessments of the data and trends for each indicator, as well as background and web links for further information.


Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth. It includes not only the variety of individual species but also the genetic diversity within species and the range of ecosystems that support them. The UK Government has committed to two important international targets to protect biodiversity:
Cover of original publication: Biodiversity indicators in your pocket 2007


  1. In 2001, European Union Heads of State or Government agreed that biodiversity decline should be halted with the aim of reaching this objective by 2010 (for more information see
  2. In 2002, Heads of State at the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development committed themselves to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level, as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth (for more information see and


A suite of biodiversity indicators for the UK was first published in June 2007. The indicators show changes in aspects of biodiversity such as the population size of important species or the area of land managed for wildlife. They will be used as part of the evidence to assess whether the targets set out above have been achieved.


In 2007 eighteen UK biodiversity indicators were published, although four were under development and presented without data. It was the intention that the indicators would be further developed and updated periodically as new data is made available to provide a full set of indicators for assessing the 2010 targets: The first such update took place in March 2008 when several of the indicators were updated to reflect new data, and a further indicator was added. The indicators are grouped under the six focal areas identified by the Convention on Biological Diversity and the European Council:


  1. Status and trends in components of biodiversity
  2. Sustainable use
  3. Threats to biodiversity
  4. Ecosystem integrity and ecosystem goods and services
  5. Status of resource transfers and use
  6. Public awareness and participation


Whilst indicators are useful mechanisms for summarising messages, they can never describe all the changes in the UK’s biodiversity. They are best seen, as their name suggests, as indicative of the general state of biodiversity.  Whilst they will form the basis of the UK’s assessment of progress towards the biodiversity targets, other factors and sources of information will also need to be taken into account.



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