Action on international goals and targets


JNCC published an update to the UK Biodiversity Indicators at the end of May showing UK progress towards new biodiversity goals and targets (the ‘Aichi Targets’) set out in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020.


The Aichi Targets were agreed in 2010 and this latest update is the first time the indicators have been published within this framework.  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 targets.  The review identified a small number of gaps and areas for refinement, resulting in an increase from the original 18 indicators to 24.  Where previous indicators remain relevant and robust, they have been retained; other indicators 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.


An example of one of the revised indicators published in May is indicator C1.  The extent of protected areas in the UK has been calculated afresh to show those on land and at sea.  Details of how this should be interpreted are on the JNCC website, together with links to the relevant Aichi Targets. 

Figure C1i. Extent of UK nationally and internationally important protected areas: i) total extent; ii) on land; iii) at sea, 1980 to 2011


1.        The demarcation between the protected areas on land and at sea is mean high water (mean high water spring in Scotland).  The calculations to create the indicator split the terrestrial and marine components of coastal sites between the ‘on land’ and ‘at sea’ lines shown.  

2.        Based on calendar year of site designation. 

Source: Joint Nature Conservation Committee based on its own data and data from the Countryside Council for Wales, Natural England, Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Scottish Natural Heritage. 


The UK biodiversity indicators will form a major part of the UK’s 5th National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2014 but will be supplemented with other information relating to UK biodiversity and implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020.  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.


Contact File


James Williams

Indicators and Reporting Manager

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 866868


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