Convention on Biological Diversity: highlighting essential sub-grouping of ecosystems

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Every two years, countries from around the world meet to discuss the conservation of the world’s biodiversity. The next Conference of these Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will occur in China in 2021, where countries should agree a new ‘post-2020 global biodiversity framework’.

As part of this process, the CBD secretariat requested that countries and organisations feedback on how the proposed framework goals and targets might be monitored, and with which indicators.

In addition to suggesting several indicators that we monitor now, or plan to in the future, Wetlands International has suggested consideration of the ecosystem groupings that make up the current monitoring elements of goals and targets – ‘Wetlands’ being a broad group with heterogenous monitoring needs and indicators that differ between the various kind of wetlands. Monitoring elements such as ‘Trends in wetlands’ and ‘Trends in fragmentation and quality of inland wetlands’ would be better broken down into their main constituent parts, for example, peatlands, mudflats and other wetland types, potentially using the Ramsar classification.

Once sub-groups of monitoring and indicators have been populated, an overall wetland indicator can be derived by aggregation, an approach that would be better able to cover the full, or most important range of Wetland ecosystems. Currently, monitoring and indicators are neither mutually exclusive nor inclusive of the most important wetland types.