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MEA Bulletin - Special Meeting Report - Thursday, 17 September 2009
Special Meeting Report: CBD/UNEP-WCMC Post-2010 Indicators Workshop
By Tristan Tyrrell, UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK
In 2010, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will review the extent to which progress has been made in meeting the global biodiversity target, and will develop a new, post-2010 strategic plan and associated target(s). Progress towards the 2010 target is being tracked using a framework of indicators and the extent to which policy-makers and society will be able to assess their achievements, and identify suitable responses, is largely dependent upon the information provided by such indicators.

In July 2009, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) and the UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) jointly convened a meeting to review the use and effectiveness of the 2010 biodiversity indicators and to consider the implications for the development of post-2010 targets and indicators. The meeting was hosted by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), whilst additional financial support was provided by UNEP, the European Commission (EC) and the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). The workshop brought together over 70 participants including government-nominated experts and representatives of biodiversity-related conventions, UN agencies, academic and research institutions and other relevant international, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

The meeting crafted a series of recommendations, of which the following were voted the most important:

A. A small set (10-15) of broad headline indicators, clearly linked to the main target and sub-targets and underscored by more specific sub-indicators/measures, should be maintained/developed, in order to communicate the indicator set through key storylines and clear, policy relevant messages, while maintaining a flexible framework to cater for national/regional needs.

B. The current framework of global indicators should be modified and simplified into four 'focal areas': Threats to Biodiversity; State of Biodiversity; Ecosystem services; and Policy Responses. Existing indicators should be re-aligned with the new framework, as appropriate, in order to maintain continuity and enhance their use. The relationships between the focal areas and between indicators and targets should be clearly explained and documented, including their scientific basis and assumptions.

C. Some additional measures on threats to biodiversity, status of diversity, ecosystem extent and condition, ecosystem services and policy responses should be developed to provide a more complete and flexible set of indicators to monitor progress towards a post-2010 target and to clearly link actions and biodiversity outcomes to benefits for people.

D. National capacity for framework application, indicator development, data collection and information management should be further developed and properly resourced in order to strengthen countries' ability to develop, monitor and communicate indicators in a participatory, sustained and integrated way; and to link with other processes e.g., MEAs at all levels.

E. Priority must be given to developing a communication strategy for the post-2010 targets and indicators in order to inform policy discussions and ensure effective communication of messages coming from the indicators into all sectors (including delivering stories relevant to human well-being, identifying champions, promoting a regular reporting process, etc).

F. A flexible and inclusive process/partnership for post-2010 indicator development should be maintained and adequately resourced in order to increase collaboration in the development, quality control, implementation and communication of indicators at all levels, including the sharing of experience and the building of capacity.

More information is available on the meeting website:
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