UK Biodiversity Indicators in Your Pocket (BIYP)

Updated 29 May 2012

Download publication

Front cover image BIYP 2012

Biodiversity is the variety of all life on Earth.  It includes all species of animals and plants, and the natural systems that support them. Biodiversity matters because it supports the vital benefits we get from the natural environment.  It contributes to our economy, our health and wellbeing, and it enriches our lives.


The UK is a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and is committed to the new biodiversity goals and targets ‘the Aichi Targets’ agreed in 2010 and set out in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 20112020.  We are also committed to developing and using a set of indicators to report on progress towards meeting these international goals and targets.


There are related commitments on biodiversity made by the European Union, and the UK indicators may also be used to assess progress with these.


The UK indicators were comprehensively reviewed during 2011 and 2012 to ensure they continue to be based on the most robust and reliable available data; and remain relevant to the new international goals and targets1. The review identified a small number of gaps where there were no indicators for particular targets, or where the existing indicators were only indirectly linked to the Aichi Targets.  A number of further refinements to existing indicators were also identified to improve their relevance, make them easier to understand, or to address concerns over data quality or availability.  As a result, the set of 18 indicators originally developed for reporting against previous international targets has been expanded to 24, as set out in this document.  Where previous indicators remain relevant and robust, they have been retained.  Others have been revised or replaced.  Where possible each of the indicators has been updated with the most recent data, but in some cases development work is ongoing, and where this is the case, the work to develop them over the next two to three years has been described briefly.


Indicators are useful tools for summarising and communicating broad trends.  They are not intended to incorporate all the relevant information available in the UK.  They are best seen, as their name suggests, as indicative of these wider changes.  The UK biodiversity indicators will form a major part of the UK’s 5th National Report to the CBD in 2014 but will be supplemented with other information relating to UK biodiversity and implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 20112020. 


Biodiversity policy is a devolved responsibility in the UK, and England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have each developed or are developing their own biodiversity or environment strategies.  Indicators are being developed to track progress with the respective commitments in each country.  The UK indicators have a specific purpose for international reporting and were selected following consultation and agreement between the administrations.  The indicators provide a flexible framework and a common set of methodologies which in some cases can also be used for country reporting.


The UK Biodiversity Indicators are dependent on a wide variety of data, provided by Government, research bodies, and the voluntary sector.  As Official Statistics, 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 indicators may be subject to further review, particularly as the reporting requirements of the EU Biodiversity Strategy and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive are clarified.


Previous versions of the indicators are available for download below, and links are provided to the full detail of each of the previous editions (stored on the National Archives website).


This is a Defra National Statistics compendium (see Annex for further details).



1 This review involved wide consultation with the UK Biodiversity Indicators Forum, involving key stakeholders.


BIYP 2012


You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document.


BIYP 2011




BIYP 2010



BIYP 2009



BIYP 2008


BIYP 2007



| JNCC - Adviser to Government on Nature Conservation | Site Map | Search | Legal | Feedback | List Access Keys |