Indicators & Assessments Unit
The Indicators and Assessments Unit was formed in 2006 to consolidate work at ZSL on defining the status and trends of biodiversity. The Unit is a joint IoZ and Conservation Programmes initiative and is comprised of a total of 20 staff, students and interns.
There are five major projects of the Unit:
- The IUCN Sampled Red List Index
- The WWF/ZSL Living Planet Index
- The WCS/ZSL Wildlife Picture Index
- The Regional Red List Programme
- The EDGE of Existence Programme
The Institute is primarily responsible for the first four of these projects, all of which aim to produce scientifically robust global biodiversity indicators.
In April 2002, at the Sixth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the world’s governments committed themselves to actions to 'achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss'. Setting this target has helped to highlight the lack of biodiversity indicators capable of measuring trends in global biodiversity.
The Institute is helping to address this knowledge gap by leading in the development and implementation of species-level biodiversity indicators that can be used to measure species trends for 2010 and beyond. Two of the indicators - the IUCN Sampled Red List Index and WWF/ZSL Living Planet Index - have been adopted by the scientific body of the CBD for immediate testing and will be essential for assessing the success or failure of the 2010 target.
ZSL's conservation work on indicators and assessments
In order to combat species population decline, we must have effective monitoring systems in place to gauge human impact on biodiversity.
Biodiversity is declining at unprecedented rates. Getting a better understanding of species, and accurately monitoring changes in species populations will better equip us to deal with this issue. However, the task is complex.