Biodiversity

Biodiversity is the diversity of species, ecosystems and genes on earth. This richness underpins all aspects of human life, from food and fresh water to the strength of the global economy.  Protecting and promoting biodiversity is key to a healthy planet and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, biodiversity is in unprecedented decline. Up to 1 million species are threatened by extinction and many ecosystems are at risk of collapse. The world is standing on the edge of a 6th mass extinction event that would destructively impact on communities and economies worldwide. 

Global efforts to date have not been enough to stem these losses. Of the 20 global biodiversity Aichi targets set for the period 2010-2020, only 6 were partially achieved. None were met in full. But there are areas of hope: targeted efforts in protected areas are improving outcomes for nature, and conservation efforts are preventing some extinctions. Further, the causes of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation are well known, and there is widespread agreement on many of the actions required to address them. The forthcoming Global Biodiversity Framework will bolden these aspirations.

The key drivers of the biodiversity crisis, like changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, continuing climate change and pollution and invasive alien species, are caused by human values and behaviours. Alongside protecting and restoring nature, we will need to address climate change and tackle the underlying causes of biodiversity loss: our financial systems, our food systems, and our wider models of consumption and production.  This implies big changes to way we live and operate as societies around the world. In order to achieve this, the whole of society has a part to play.

This is a last chance decade for both biodiversity and climate. There is an urgent need to recognize our dependence on a healthy planet and to work together to re-establish a positive relationship with nature, for the benefit of people and planet.

 

Explore data Knowledge products Business and Biodiversity More resources
Explore the Data Biodiversity Knowledge Products Business and Biodiversity Action More resources – selected reports
Explore the Data

Key resources to understand, map, and take actions to address the biodiversity crisis

The UN Biodiversity Lab can be used to access and analyze global data in order to provide key information on the Convention on Biological Diversity's (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Targets and on the nature-based Sustainable Development Goals. 
UN Biodiversity Lab

Protected planet

 

IUCN Red List Key Areas
 
Ocean and Habitats
 
Information Facility
Protected Planet Initiative  IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Key Biodiversity Areas Ocean & Habitats Global Biodiversity Information Facility 
Biodiversity Knowledge Products for Governments

Key resources to track progress on the implementation of the biodiversity-related conventions

Indicators

 

cities

 

Species plus

 

online reporting

 

Data reporting

 

Nature map

 

Biodiversity Indicators Partnership
(indicator data) 
CITES Trade Database
(wildlife species in trade)
Species+ 
(and CITES Checklist data on CITES listed Species and legal information)
Online Reporting System (supporting national reporting cycles of selected MEAs) Data Reporting Tool (DaRT)
(for national parties to  organise information across multiple MEAs 
NatureMap
(integrating nature and climate in decision making)

 

The UN Biodiversity Lab can be used to access and analyze global data in order to provide key information on the Convention on Biological Diversity's (CBD) Aichi Biodiversity Targets and on the nature-based Sustainable Development Goals. 

UN Biodiversity Lab

Business and Biodiversity Action

Businesses depend on or impact biodiversity, either directly through their activities or indirectly through their supply chains. In order to manage impacts and dependencies on biodiversity, and demonstrate improved performance, businesses and financial institutions need robust measurement approaches to understand and manage risks and leverage opportunities.

Pressure for corporate biodiversity disclosure is increasing, driven by investors, policymakers and civil society. Businesses and financial institutions are increasingly being called upon to demonstrate how they are positively contributing to biodiversity challenges and feeding into societal efforts to address them (e.g. the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the Sustainable Development Goals). Work is underway to create alignment on using approaches like the mitigation hierarchy to achieve no net loss or net gain performance objectives for biodiversity.
UNEP-WCMC and with partners convenes key stakeholders to improve clarity and build consensus on how businesses and financial institutions can measure and report on performance.
 

integrated tool encore

 

Aligning measures

 

Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (screening for areas of biodiversity importance)  ENCORE (financial risks and business dependencies associated with natural capital)   Aligning Biodiversity Measures for Business (screening for areas of biodiversity importance) 

 

More resources – selected assessments and reports