In Europe, agricultural intensification, habitat destruction, invasive species and climate change are among threats to ecosystems and the crucial services they provide, such as clean air and water.
As part of a response to this, UNEP has organised three capacity-building workshops for countries from Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus and South East Europe.
There, experts are working on a common approach to biodiversity indicators, helping them measure fulfilment of related international agreements.
The workshops have focused on indicators for measuring progress towards targets in the countries’ updated National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, as part of implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The technical support provided during and after the workshops focused on the development of indicators on shared subjects of importance – such as protected areas, threatened species, and forest cover. The subject of ecosystem services in protected areas and national accounting is also a common priority.
"The most valuable topics were the development and production of indicators and how to best communicate our work on indicators and ecosystem services to improve the conservation of nature," said one participant.
The workshops are organised by UNEP together with the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre and are sponsored by the European Commission.