Progress of the Ad hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Indicators for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

Following the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) by the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) in December 2022, the  Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) on Indicators was established to guide the further development of the monitoring framework.

The monitoring framework includes a list of headline indicators and binary questions (yes/no) which will be in national reports from countries and a list of component and complementary indicators which countries are encouraged to use as relevant. A number of the headline indicators do not yet have operational methodologies and the binary questions are still under development.

The monitoring framework recognizes the value of aligning national monitoring with the System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) statistical standard in order to mainstream biodiversity in national statistical systems and to strengthen national monitoring systems and reporting as appropriate and according to their national priorities and circumstances (see CBD decision 15/5).  A number of headline indicators are closely linked to the SEEA Ecosystem accounts, in particular the indicators A.2 “Extent of natural ecosystems” and B.1“Services provided by ecosystems”.

During the AHTEG’s third meeting in Montreal, Canada, it was noted that the metadata for indicators for each goal and target should include an assessment of remaining gaps in methodology, data flows, and use.  The AHTEG underscored the importance of addressing cross-cutting issues across all headline indicators as the metadata is refined. Consensus was reached on a path forward for each indicator's metadata, as detailed in Annex I of the meeting report (accessible here). The Group aims to finalize this analysis for discussion at its conclusive sixth meeting in Cambridge, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, from 12 to 15 March 2024.

UNSD as an observer member of the AHTEG (see list of selected members) is working closely with the AHTEG and the UN Committee of Experts on Environmental-Economic Accounting (UNCEEA) to refine headline indicator metadata  in order to provide operational compilation guidelines.  In support, the UNCEEA’s Technical Committee on Ecosystem Accounts (TC EA) formed two task teams to support the revision of the metadata for the indicators A.2 (“Extent of natural ecosystems”) and B.1 ( “Services provided by ecosystems”). The task teams will update the metadata for these indicators for the AHTEG’s meeting in March 2024.

The AHTEG has established an online discussion forum to ask specific questions to the broader community which can assist the further development of the headline indicators.

The final report of the AHTEG will be presented at the Twenty-sixth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-26) which will convene in Nairobi, Kenya from 13 to 18 May 2024.

AHTEG's meeting documents can be found here.

This note complements the article orginally published on the EnvStats News and Notes, Issue 54.