The “guidelines will help countries take informed decisions on how to minimize health, environmental and socioeconomic risks resulting from biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and to maximize benefits from biodiversity and ecosystems”.
Anchored in the 2030 Agenda, the guidelines take into account relevant international requirements and recommendations, and strengthen synergies with countries’ efforts under CITES, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, among other key treaties.
The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has published updated guidelines for developing national biodiversity monitoring systems in countries in the UNECE region and beyond. The guidelines build on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) agreed at the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP 15) in December 2022.
Issued at a critical moment when global biodiversity is declining faster than at any time in human history, the “guidelines will help countries take informed decisions on how to minimize health, environmental and socioeconomic risks resulting from biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and to maximize benefits from biodiversity and ecosystems,” according to a UNECE press release.
“The adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework offers hope when we need it most,” said UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova, welcoming the guidelines. “But commitment is only as good as the action that follows,” she cautioned.
The guidelines are intended to make biodiversity monitoring a practical tool to support environmental policy, including by:
- Linking biodiversity monitoring to National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs);
- Aligning national biodiversity monitoring with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs;
- Harmonizing national biodiversity monitoring with the GBF;
- Integrating biodiversity monitoring with commitments under other biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs); and
- Linking biodiversity monitoring with climate change mitigation and adaptation policies.
They will help countries modernize and upgrade national biodiversity monitoring and information systems, including national targets and indicators, by aiding in the: development of consistent conceptual frameworks for national biodiversity monitoring systems; application of available international guidance, standards, and good practice in biodiversity monitoring; and development of effective institutional set-ups for biodiversity monitoring, among other actions.
The guidelines will also support improved coordination between government and other organizations involved in, and strengthen international and subregional cooperation on, biodiversity monitoring.
The updated guidelines reflect international policy developments, innovation in approaches and methodologies in monitoring and data management, and experiences and lessons learned by UNECE member states since they were first issued in 2013. They draw on experiences from countries “where coherent systems of biodiversity surveillance and management have been developed and implemented,” and are informed by the sixth and seventh Pan-European Environmental Assessments, among other resources.
Anchored in the 2030 Agenda, the guidelines also take into account relevant international requirements and recommendations, including those developed under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and strengthen synergies with countries’ efforts under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, among other key treaties. [Publication: UNECE Guidelines for Developing National Biodiversity Monitoring Systems] [Publication Landing Page] [UNECE Press Release]