UK Biodiversity Indicators in Your Pocket - BIYP

Updated 2010




Biodiversity in your pocket

Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth. It includes the diversity of individual species, 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:


  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;
  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.

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 provide part of the evidence to assess whether the targets set out above have been achieved.


Eighteen UK biodiversity indicators are presented. The indicators are grouped under six focal areas aligned to those used by the Convention on Biological Diversity and in the European biodiversity indicators:


  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 tools for summarising broad trends and highlighting high-level 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 are also taken into account.


Printed copies BIYP 2010 are available from Defra publications by emailing quoting reference 13400; alternatively you can download a copy below.

BIYP 2010



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Links are provided below to the full detail of each of the previous editions (stored on the National Archive).
BIYP 2009



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BIYP 2008


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BIYP 2007



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