The 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)


"Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People"
10th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties
to the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971)
Changwon, Republic of Korea, 28 October - 4 November 2008
Ramsar COP10 DOC. 34
Available in English only

Cooperation between the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership
and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

This information paper has been prepared for the Ramsar Convention by UNEP-WCMC acting as the Secretariat of the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership.


1.    In response to increasing pressures of consumption levels on biodiversity, and the expected undermining of the ability of ecosystems to continue delivering the goods and services on which humanity ultimately depends, the international community agreed in 2002 “to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth”, with biodiversity defined by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as encompassing genes, species and ecosystems. This 2010 biodiversity target was adopted by the sixth Conference of the Parties (COP6) to the CBD and subsequently endorsed by the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (2010 BIP), with major financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), was formed to measure progress in achieving the 2010 biodiversity target by bringing together over forty organisations, including:

2.    An essential part of reaching the 2010 target is being able to measure and communicate progress. In order to address this challenge, CBD COP7 in 2004 agreed on a framework, which includes the use of a range of indicators (Decision VII/30), based on the report of an ad hoc technical expert group specifically formed for this purpose. CBD COP8 in 2006 (Decision VIII/15) further elaborated this framework and noted the progress made in establishing the 2010 BIP, emphasising the need for a continuous process to implement, and where necessary further develop and test, the global outcome-oriented indicators. The agreed suite of indicators currently under development or refinement is shown in the Annex.

Linkages between the Ramsar Convention and the 2010 BIP

3.    As described in COP10 DOC.23, the Ramsar Convention has identified an initial set of eight ecological “outcome-oriented” indicators for assessing the effectiveness of selected aspects of the Convention’s implementation. UNEP-WCMC, which also hosts the Secretariat of the 2010 BIP, has provided and continues to provide technical support on these indicators, as well as recommendations for next steps. As noted in the document, there are clear areas where compatibility has been sought between Ramsar and the current CBD 2010 indicators framework. Most obvious among these would be:

  • Status and trends in ecosystem extent, under the Ramsar Indicator of Effectiveness ‘The overall conservation status of wetlands’;
  • Trends in conservation status of wetlands, also under ‘The overall conservation status of wetlands’;
  • Trends in dissolved nitrate / nitrogen concentration, under ‘Water quality’;
  • Trends in management effectiveness in Ramsar sites, under ‘Wetland sites with successfully implemented conservation or wise use management plans’;
  • Status and trends of waterbird biogeographic populations, under ‘Overall population trends of wetland taxa’; and
  • Wetland Red List Index, under ‘Changes in threat status of wetland taxa’.

4.    In addition, other identified indicators and subindicators may also be indirectly related to the 2010 indicators. For example, the ‘Frequency of threats affecting Ramsar sites’ would be expected to include invasive alien species, itself a 2010 indicator.

5.    Of the current 2010 indicator suite, a number of the indicators listed in the Annex could be reinterpreted to highlight the status and trends in wetland habitats and species and their threats. Aside from the Waterbird Indicator, under the headline indicator ‘Trends in abundance and distribution of selected species’, which has direct relevance to the Convention, a number of the other indicators may also be considered, such as:

  • Coverage of protected areas, and the related Overlays with biodiversity;
  • River fragmentation and flow regulation, under ‘Connectivity / fragmentation of ecosystems’;
  • Proportion of fish stocks in safe biological limits, under ‘Proportion of products derived from sustainable sources’; and
  • Health and well-being of communities depending directly on local ecosystem goods & services.

6.    A major component of the 2010 BIP is to develop linkages between the use of the CBD indicators at the global and national levels. This includes guidance documents and a series of regional workshops to encourage both the use of the indicators at the national level for biodiversity monitoring, decision-making and reporting, and support to the global indicators through increased access to sub-global datasets. In line with both the anticipated broadening of the remit of the 2010 BIP in a subsequent phase, as well as the potential wetlands perspective of many of the current suite of CBD indicators, improved capacity at the national level on the use of indicators would be of major benefit to the Ramsar Convention in future reporting cycles.

7.    Discussions are ongoing to ensure the sustainability of the 2010 BIP beyond 2010, with a view to broadening the coverage of the indicators to other biodiversity-related multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), including the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. As part of this, the targets and indicator initiatives of these MEAs are being analysed alongside the CBD framework, in order to go forward in the best harmonised way.

8.    The Ramsar Convention is closely involved in overseeing the activities of the 2010 BIP through representation by the Ramsar Secretariat on the 2010 BIP Steering Committee, and direct communications have been helping with harmonised development of both indicator initiatives. This would also support the further promotion of the national level development and use of the biodiversity indicators, making full use of the 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership, particularly in relation to the regional capacity building workshops.

Further details
More information is available via the 2010 BIP website at:

The 2010 BIP can be contacted at:

2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership Secretariat
(UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre)
219c Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0DL
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1223 277314
Fax: +44 (0)1223 277136

Annex: Indicators under development by the 2010 BIP

Focal Area

Headline Indicators


Key Indicator Partner(s)

Status and trends of the components of biodiversity

Trends in extent of selected biomes, ecosystems, and habitats

Assorted habitats

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) (forests)

UNEP-WCMC (others)

Trends in abundance and distribution of selected species

Living Planet Index

Institute of  Zoology, Zoological Society of London (IOZ/ZSL)

Global Wild Bird Index

BirdLife International

Waterbird Indicator

Wetlands International

Coverage of protected areas

Coverage of protected areas


Overlays with biodiversity


Management effectiveness

UNEP-WCMC & University of Queensland

Change in status of threatened species

Red List Index and Sampled Red List Index


Trends in genetic diversity

Ex situ crop collections

FAO & Bioversity International

Genetic diversity of terrestrial domesticated animals


Sustainable use

Areas under sustainable management

Area of forest under sustainable management: certification


Area of forest under sustainable management: degradation and deforestation


Area of agricultural ecosystems under sustainable management


Proportion of products derived from sustainable sources

Proportion of fish stocks in safe biological limits


Status of species in trade

Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna & Flora (CITES)

Wild Commodities Index


Ecological footprint and related concepts

Global Footprint Network (GFN)

Threats to biodiversity

Nitrogen deposition

International Nitrogen Initiative (INI)

Invasive alien species

Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP)

Ecosystem integrity and ecosystem goods and services

Marine Trophic Index

University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre

Water quality

United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Monitoring System (UNEP GEMS) Water Programme

Connectivity / fragmentation of ecosystems

Forest fragmentation


River fragmentation and flow regulation

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Health and well-being of communities depending directly on local ecosystem goods & services

UNEP-WCMC & World Health Organization (WHO)

Biodiversity for food and medicine

Nutritional status of biodiversity


Biodiversity for food and medicine

TRAFFIC International

Status of traditional knowledge, innovations and practices

Status and trends of linguistic diversity and numbers of speakers of indigenous languages

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Status of access and benefits sharing

To be determined

Status of resource transfers

Official development assistance provided in support of the Convention

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

For reasons of economy, this document is printed in a limited number, and will not be distributed at the meeting. Delegates are requested to bring their copies to the meeting and not to request additional copies.

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