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Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services. Trends

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SEBI - Streamlining European Biodiversity Indicators

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The Pan-European SEBI initiative was launched in 2005. Its aim was to develop a European set of biodiversity indicators – based on those already existing, plus new indicators as necessary – to assess and inform about progress towards the 2010 targets. From its inception SEBI linked the global framework set by the Convention on Biological Diversity with regional and national indicator initiatives.

SEBI is a partnership between the EEA (the European Environment Agency), its Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (ETC/BD), DG Environment of the European Commission, the Czech Republic (as lead country for the Kiev Resolution action plan on biodiversity indicators, ECNC (the European Centre for Nature Conservation), UNEP/ PEBLDS Secretariat, and UNEP-WCMC (the World Conservation Monitoring Centre). The strategic orientation of the work has been undertaken by a Coordination Team with representatives from the above organisations.

Since, 2005, the Coordination Team has set up several Expert groups involving more than 120 experts from European countries as well as Non-Governmental Organisations. Supported by expert contributions, the first set of 26 SEBI indicators was chosen at the end of 2006.

One of the principal working methods of SEBI is to build on current monitoring and available data to avoid duplication of efforts and to complement and not replace other activities to describe, model and understand biodiversity and the pressures upon it. This means that a large part of the 26 SEBI indicators originates from various external ongoing programmes and processes at the national, European and global levels.

From the very beginning, the proposed set of indicators has been seen holistically, stressing mutual relationships among the individual indicators and their power to deal with uncertainty. Special attention was paid to the task to produce user-friendly indicators. Furthermore SEBI aimed at improving the provision of information to policy-makers along the DPSIR chain (Drivers, Pressures, State, Impact, Responses) in support of policy effectiveness.

While SEBI is pan-European in scope, some of the indicators specifically link to the community policy framework that exists for EU Member States. 

Moving forward towards 2020 it will be important to transparently measure progress towards the new European and global 2020 biodiversity targets. SEBI is in a strong position to contribute to this.


Further reading:



SEBI 001

Abundance and distribution of selected species

SEBI 002

Red List Index for European species

SEBI 003

Species of European interest

SEBI 004

Ecosystem coverage

SEBI 005

Habitats of European interest

SEBI 006

Livestock genetic diversity

SEBI 007

Nationally designated protected areas

SEBI 008

Sites designated under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives

SEBI 009

Critical load exceedance for nitrogen

SEBI 010

Invasive alien species in Europe

SEBI 011

Impact of climatic change on bird populations

SEBI 012

Marine Trophic Index of European seas

SEBI 013

Fragmentation of natural and semi-natural areas

SEBI 014

Fragmentation of river systems (in preparation)

SEBI 015

Nutrients in transitional, coastal and marine waters

SEBI 016

Freshwater quality

SEBI 017

Forest: growing stock, increment and fellings

SEBI 018

Forest: deadwood

SEBI 019

Agriculture: nitrogen balance

SEBI 020

Agriculture: area under management practices potentially supporting biodiversity

SEBI 021

Fisheries: European commercial fish stocks

SEBI 022:

Aquaculture: effluent water quality from finfish farms

SEBI 023

Ecological Footprint of European countries

SEBI 024

Patent applications based on genetic resources

SEBI 025

Financing biodiversity management

SEBI 026

Public awareness


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