Streamlined European Biodiversity Indicators

The SEBI initiative is a partnership between the European Environment Agency (EEA), its Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (ETC/BD) and DG Environment of the European Commission. The initiative has secured legitimacy and a robustness of approach since its start in 2005 by involving key stakeholders: policy makers, the scientific community, and representatives of countries who are the members of the European environment information and observation network (Eionet). From its inception SEBI linked the global framework set by the Convention on Biological Diversity with regional and national indicator initiatives.

The SEBI indicator set provides a trusted and robust source of information and data at European level to assess the state of biodiversity, pressures on it and responses to help conserve biodiversity and halt its loss. SEBI builds on current monitoring and available data to avoid duplication of effort and to complement other activities.

The indicators are intended to be user-friendly, policy-relevant and to send a clear message. They provide information to policy-makers and the general public. The indicators in the current SEBI set are complementary; whilst each one provides a clear individual message about a given aspect of biodiversity, together they provide a ‘big picture’ that can improve the effectiveness of policy measures and help identify solutions to halt biodiversity loss.

Over time their impact has been increased by applying information about how the indicators are used, through lessons learnt during their development and by identifying gaps. SEBI indicators have been used in a variety of ways, including the mid-term review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, the MAES (Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services) assessments, the 6th EU Report to CBD on final assessment of progress towards the 2020 Aichi targets, for monitoring progress towards SDGs in the EU context  and the EEA SOER 2020 report: The European environment – state and outlook 2020.

In 2020 the European Commission adopted the EU Biodiversity strategy for 2030, which aims to put Europe's biodiversity on a path to recovery by 2030 with benefits for people, the climate and the planet and to contribute to the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The EU Biodiversity strategy for 2030 emphasizes the importance of a new, strengthened governance framework to ensure better implementation and track progress using relevant indicators. SEBI is a strong position to contribute to this through the existing indicators and through identifying areas where more knowledge and indicators may be needed, based on the new policy priorities and targets.

SEBI indicators:

Abundance and distribution of selected European species (SEBI 001)

Species of European interest (SEBI 003)

Ecosystem coverage (SEBI 004)

Habitats of European coverage (SEBI 005)

Livestock genetic diversity (SEBI 006)

Nationally designated terrestrial protected areas in Europe (SEBI 007)

Natura 2000 sites designated under the Habitats and Birds Directives (SEBI 008)

Impact of climate change on bird populations (SEBI 011)

Forest: growing stock, increment and fellings (SEBI 017)

Forest: deadwood (SEBI 018)

Agriculture: nitrogen balance (SEBI 019)

Agriculture: area under management practices potentially supporting biodiversity (SEBI 020)

Ecological footprint of European countries (SEBI 023)

Public awareness of biodiversity in Europe (SEBI 026)

SEBI reports