Overview of assessment of change for all indicators

 

The table below summaries traffic light assessments for 24 indicators and their component measures.

Indicator number (Strategic Goal / number), title,
and measures where applicable

Long-term change1

Short-term change2

A1. Awareness, understanding and support for conservation

 

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

A2. Taking action for nature: volunteer time spent in conservation

 

indicator improving
2000–2013

2010 indicator declining
2008–2013

A3. Value of biodiversity integrated into decision making

 

Under development

A4. Global biodiversity impacts of UK economic activity / sustainable consumption

 

Under development

A5. Integration of biodiversity considerations into business activity

 

 

 

A5a.Environmental Management Systems

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

A5b. Environmental consideration in supply chains

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

B1. Agricultural and forest area under environmental management schemes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B1a. Area of land in agri-environment schemes

B1a(i) Higher-level or targeted schemes

indicator improving
1992–2013

indicator improving
2008–2013

B1a(ii) Entry-level type schemes

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

indicator improving
2008–2013

B1b. Area of forestry land certified as sustainably managed

indicator improving
2001–2014

2010 indicator stable
2009–2014

B2. Sustainable fisheries

 

 

indicator improving

1990–2012

indicator improving

2007–2012

B3. Climate change adaptation

 

Under development

B4. Pressure from climate change

 

Not Assessed

Not Assessed

B5. Pressure from pollution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B5a. Air pollution

B5a(i). Area affected by acidity

indicator improving

1996–2011

indicator improving

2006–2011

B5a(ii). Area affected by nitrogen

indicator improving

1996–2011

indicator improving

2006–2011

B5b. Marine pollution

indicator improving

1990–2012

2010 indicator stable

2007–2012

B6. Pressure from invasive species

 

 

 

 

 

B6a. Freshwater invasive species

2010 indicator declining

1960–2014

Not Assessed

B6b. Marine (coastal) invasive species

2010 indicator declining

1960–2014

Not Assessed

B6c. Terrestrial invasive species

2010 indicator declining

1960–2014

Not Assessed

B7. Surface water status

 

 

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

2010 indicator stable

2008–2012

C1. Protected areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C1a. Total area of protected areas: on-land

indicator improving

1950–2014

indicator improving
2009–2014

C1b. Total area of protected areas: at-sea

indicator improving

1950–2014

indicator improving

2009–2014

C1c. Condition of Areas/Sites of Special Scientific Interest

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

indicator improving

2008/09–2013/14

C2. Habitat connectivity

 

Under development

C3. Status of European habitats and species

 

 

 

C3a. Status of UK habitats of European importance

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

2010 indicator declining

2007–2013

C3b. Status of UK species of European importance

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

indicator improving

2007–2013

C4. Status of UK priority species

 

 

 

 

 

C4a. Status of priority species – relative abundance

2010 indicator declining

1970–2012

2010 indicator stable

2007–2012

C4b. Status of priority species – frequency of occurrence – insects

2010 indicator declining

1970–2011

Not Assessed

C5. Birds of the wider countryside and at sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C5a. Farmland birds

2010 indicator declining

1970–2012

2010 indicator declining

2007–2012

C5b. Woodland birds

2010 indicator declining

1970–2012

2010 indicator stable

2007-2012

C5c. Wetland birds

2010 indicator declining

1975–2012

2010 indicator declining

2007–2012

C5d. Seabirds

2010 indicator declining

1970–2013

2010 indicator declining 
2008–2013

C5e. Wintering waterbirds

indicator improving
1975/76–2011/12

2010 indicator stable
2006/07–2011/12

C6. Insects of the wider countryside

 

 

 

C6a. Semi-natural habitat specialists

2010 indicator declining
1976–2013

2010 indicator stable
2008–2013

C6b. Species of the wider countryside

2010 indicator declining
1976–2013

2010 indicator stable
2008–2013

C7. Plants of the wider countryside

 

Under development

C8. Mammals of the wider countryside (bats)

 

 

indicator improving
1999–2012

2010 indicator stable
2007–2012

C9. Genetic resources for food and agriculture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C9a. Animal genetic resources – effective population size

C9a(i). Native sheep breeds

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

2010 indicator stable
2001–2007

C9a(ii). Native cattle breeds

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

indicator improving
2001–2007

C9b. Plant genetic resources – enrichment index

indicator improving
1960–2012

indicator improving
2007–2012

D1. Biodiversity and ecosystem services

 

 

 




 

D1a. Fish size classes in the North Sea

2010 indicator declining
1983–2011

indicator improving
2006–2011

D1b. Removal of greenhouse gases by UK forests

Not Assessed

Not Assessed

D1c. Status of pollinating insects

Not Assessed

Not Assessed

E1. Biodiversity data for decision making

 

 


 

E1a. Cumulative number of records

indicator improving
2004–2014

indicator improving
2009–2014

E1b. Number of publicly accessible records at 1km2 resolution or better

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

indicator improving
2009–2014

E2. Expenditure on UK and international biodiversity

 

 

 





 

E2a. Public sector expenditure on UK biodiversity

indicator improving
2000/01–2013/14

2010 indicator declining
2008/09–2013/14

E2b. Non-governmental organisation expenditure on UK biodiversity

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data

E2c. UK expenditure on international biodiversity

indicator improving
2000/01–2013/14

2010 indicator stable
2008/09–2013/14

1 Long-term – an assessment of change since the earliest date for which data are available, although if the data run is for less than ten years a long-term assessment is not made.

2 Short-term – an assessment of change over the latest five years.  For a very few indicators the short term change is over a longer time period as a result of the frequency of update of the data upon which the indicators are based.  Indicators C3a, C3b, and C9a have a six year short-term assessment.

 

2010 indicator improving   Improving 

2010 indicator stable   Little or no overall change

2010 indicator declining   Deteriorating

indicator - insufficient or no comparable data   Insufficient or no comparable data

 

The individual assessments for each measure can be combined to produce an overall picture of progress made. The charts below display the numbers of measures that have shown an improvement (green traffic light), deterioration (red traffic light), little or no overall change (amber traffic light) or that have insufficient data for an assessment to be made (white traffic light).

The UK Government is a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and is committed to the biodiversity goals and targets agreed in 2010 and set out in the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–20203. The Strategic Plan has five goals (A-E), each with a number of targets (the focus of each goal is shown by the words in bold type below):

A. Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society.

B. Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use.

C. To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity.

D. Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystems.

E. Enhance implementation through planning, knowledge management and capacity building.

 

As well as an overall summary, based on all measures in the indicator set, separate summaries for Strategic Goals B and C are shown, which are based on the indicators and measures linked to those goals (B1 to B7; C1 to C9).  A number of indicators are under development for Strategic Goals A, D, and E, so they currently have very few measures; separate charts are therefore not shown.

 

3 The targets are known as 'Aichi Targets', after the province in Japan where they were agreed.

 

Assessment of change: all measures

Assessment of change: all measures

 

The UK biodiversity indicators set comprises 24 indicators and 47 measures.  Of these, eight measures are not assessed in the long-term, and 12 in the short term, as the measures are either under development, or analytical methods for short term assessment need to be refined.  Fifteen of the 39 measures assessed over the long term, show an improvement, compared to 14 of the 35 measures that are assessed over the short term.  Twelve measures show a decline in the long term, and six a decline in the short term.  Measures that improved or deteriorated in the long term have not necessarily continued to improve or deteriorate respectively in the short term.

Measures showing an improvement in the short term include: the area of land in agri-environment schemes, sustainable fisheries, air pollution, the extent of protected sites on-land and at-sea, condition of areas/sites of special scientific interest, status of species of European importance and plant genetic resources.

Measures which have improved in the long term include: conservation volunteering, sustainable fisheries, air and marine pollution, the extent of protected sites on-land and at-sea, populations of wintering water birds, plant genetic resources and expenditure on UK and international biodiversity.

Measures showing long-term deterioration include: prevalence of terrestrial, freshwater and marine (coastal) invasive species, status of priority species, populations of farmland, woodland and wetland birds, and populations of butterflies (both specialists and those associated with the wider countryside). 

Some of these measures have continued to deteriorate in the short term (e.g. populations of farmland and wetland birds). 

New measures were published in 2014 for: awareness, understanding and support for conservation; integration of biodiversity considerations into business activity; priority species (frequency of occurrence); ecosystem services (pollinating insects and removal of greenhouse gas by forests); and NGO expenditure on UK biodiversity.

 

Assessment of change: Strategic Goals B and C

 

Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use.

 

Overall assessment: Goal B

 

The indicators under Strategic Goal B (seven indicators and 13 measures prefixed 'B' in the summary table) show progress is being made to address the pressures on biodiversity (e.g. in the proportion of fisheries that are sustainable, in the area of land in agri-environment schemes, and air pollution).  However, there has been a long-term increase in the prevalence of invasive species, reflecting a pattern of continuing or growing threat to biodiversity in the UK.  In the short term there is little or no overall change in surface water status, marine pollution, and the area of forestry land certified as sustainably managed. 

 

Goal C: Improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and genetic diversity.

Overall assessment: Goal C

There were long-term declines for eight measures under Strategic Goal C (nine indicators and 20 measures prefixed 'C' in the summary table, covering status of biodiversity), reflecting the declines in many species populations seen in the 1970s and 1980s.  In the short term, there is some evidence that some of these long-term declines have slowed, with some measures previously assessed as deteriorating showing little or no overall change (e.g. butterflies, woodland birds, and the abundance of priority species).  In total, six measures have shown improvement over the short term, including protected areas, status of UK species of European importance, and plant genetic resources.  These conclusions should be viewed with some caution as changes are more difficult to assess reliably over the short term.