As the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 is reaching its end, negotiations are underway for the creation of a new global biodiversity framework under the auspices of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 identified a set of 20 targets known as Aichi Biodiversity Targets where Target 2 included mainstreaming of biodiversity in policies and national accounts. The post-2020 global biodiversity framework is scheduled for completion at the Conference of Parties (COP-15) to be held in Kunming, China in November 2020.
The SEEA is well-positioned to support the post-2020 global biodiversity framework as it focuses on measuring ecosystems diversity, their extent, condition and services generated while also helps make the case for protecting and conserving biodiversity by providing a full picture of its connection to the economy. In particular, the information generated by the SEEA can be used to inform biodiversity policies in an integrated manner and develop indicators for monitoring progress toward the biodiversity target. An assessment report from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre and United Nations Statistics Division shows that 61 of the current Aichi Target indicators are fully or partially aligned with the SEEA. In addition, the UNCEEA has identified at least seven targets that currently lack indicators, for which the SEEA could provide the necessary information. In addition, as part of the CBD commitments, 190/196 of the parties have developed at least one National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plan (NBSAP), which is the main vehicle for implementing the CBD recommendations at the national level. The SEEA can provide valuable information for NBSAPs, helping to both prioritize conservation efforts and assess country-level implementation.
Moreover, the SEEA’s measurement on the role of biodiversity in supporting the economy helps make the economic case for conservation, as it can present this information in both physical and monetary terms. Its integrated systems approach can clarify the major drivers of biodiversity loss and ecosystem changes, identify key trade-offs, and support the development of “win-win” conservation approaches. Ecosystem accounts used in combination with information on expenditures can also provide decision-makers with a clear picture of the return-on-investment from biodiversity protection. The SEEA can also be used to measure level of effort through tracking expenditures on conservation efforts in both the public and private sectors. In addition, as SEEA ecosystem accounts are spatially explicit, they allow the identification of hot spots and provide insight for an efficient local response. Further work is planned within the SEEA EEA framework to better reflect species diversity.