As COP15 came to a close in Montreal on December 19th, nearly 200 parties agreed to adopt the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and its 4 Goals and 23 Targets aimed at halting and reversing global declines in biodiversity.
Widely lauded as a “historic” deal for biodiversity, the GBF includes crucial language mandating ecological representation in protected area planning and management towards 30 by 30 and maintenance of the integrity and connectivity of ecosystems. Accompanying the GBF is the Monitoring Framework which outlines the indicators to be used for monitoring and reporting on nations’ progress towards achieving the goals laid out in the GBF.
The Species Habitat Index (SHI), Species Protection Index (SPI), and Species Status Information Index (SSII) have been formally adopted as component indicators by the framework to assist countries in both monitoring and decision-support for biodiversity conservation outcomes. Particularly, the SHI addresses Goal A, which seeks the maintenance and enhancement of ecosystem integrity, resilience, and connectivity, the reduction of species extinctions, and the safeguarding of genetic diversity, as well as Target 4; the SPI addresses Target 3, which seeks to ensure that areas of “particular importance for biodiversity” are effectively protected towards 30 by 30; and the SII addresses Target 21, which seeks to strengthen the monitoring of biodiversity and provide “best-possible” data to conservation managers.
Beyond monitoring countries’ progress towards the GBF goals, our suite of indicators provide crucial decision-support information from the individual species to national level. BGC Center members attending COP15 this month with our partners from GEOBON and Future Earth met with representatives from several countries around the world to discuss the opportunities available with these indicators and begin discussions about how our tools can best support conservation efforts in line with the GBF goals.