Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.
United Nations Development AccountUnited Nations Headquarters New York Desa Home

Development Account Projects

Building national capacities for biodiversity indicators and reporting in Southern and Eastern Africa


Millennium Development Goal 7 and the 2010 biodiversity target require the definition of targets, policies and strategies at the national level for their implementation. A key requirement for this process is the availability of indicators of biodiversity and environmental resources. A number of indicators have been identified, or are in development, for reporting on the 2010 biodiversity target, some of which are the same as or complementary to indicators for Millennium Development Goal 7, including measurements of sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services, which form a basis for poverty reduction. In most countries of Southern and the East Africa, however, the capacity for calculating biodiversity and ecosystem service indicators is very limited. Some of the concepts and methods involved in producing the 2010 biodiversity target indicators and assessment of ecosystem services are new and require further promotion for countries to be able to utilize them. This project will assist national governmental, academic and NGO groups to adapt global indicators to national needs and utilize existing indicators in international reporting on biodiversity and environmental sustainability.

The project will be implemented by the UNEP Division of Early Warning and Assessment, the UNEP Regional Office for Africa, the Convention on Biological Diversity secretariat and the Convention on Biological Diversity national focal points in each country. The UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre will work with UNDP country offices in the region to incorporate their capacity-development experience and networks with national institutions.


To strengthen the capacity of Governments in Southern and Eastern Africa to develop and use indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services in support of national policies, including poverty reduction strategy papers and international reporting on Millennium Development Goal 7, on environmental sustainability, and the 2010 biodiversity target.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Increased technical capacity and partnerships of national governmental, academic and NGO groups to develop and use indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services, focused on policy formulation and monitoring.
  • Improved capacity to use indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem services in national and international reporting to demonstrate progress in achieving nationally and internationally adopted targets.

Implementation status:

The project has successfully strengthened national capacities for the production of biodiversity indicators in six countries in eastern Africa (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda) and southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe). New biodiversity indicators were established in twelve of the participating countries. This involved establishing new collaborations between government wildlife and environment authorities, national statistics offices, and biodiversity conservation non-governmental organisations. The project teams in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Botswana are producing booklets to promote the biodiversity indicators they have developed, and to encourage wider understanding and support for such indicators. The project's results have been actively promoted at meetings of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) during 2010, and are seen as a major contribution and resource for countries to develop biodiversity indicators as part of their implementation of the new CBD Strategic Plan 2011-2020.

South Africa: The new national indicator on "The extent to which Protected Areas (PA) network meet biodiversity targets as set out in the vegetation map of South Africa" is incorporated into South Africa's next National Biodiversity Assessment for policy makers, to see how far the country is in achieving national targets of protecting biodiversity. The DEA have used the indicator to show the importance of the National Protected Areas Expansion Strategy.

The Swaziland Environment Authority organised a stakeholder consultation process for the identification of relevant biodiversity indicator topics. The outcome of these consultations was a strengthened partnership and collaboration across a wide range of stakeholders to create a common partnership in information sharing among stakeholders. However, most institution presumed to have data had either just baseline data or old data sets with gaps. This exercise has therefore sensitized stakeholders on the need to keep accurate and up-to-date data and to avail data to all interested.

Link: http://www.bipnational.net/