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Headline data

Source: Office for National Statistics

Geographical Area: United Kingdom

Unit of Measurement: Percentage (%)

Footnote: Geographical area data as at December 2019.

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.

Indicator available
Indicator description

Proportion of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) and Important Plant Areas (IPAs) that are covered by protected areas, by ecosystem type.

Geographical coverage

United Kingdom

Unit of measurement

Percentage (%)

Definitions

Terrestrial - for the purpose of this indicator, the total value for terrestrial includes all ecosystem types that are included as disaggregations (including coastal and saltwater habitats within the land boundaries of the UK)

Key Biodiversity Area - Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) include 1) Important Plant Areas (IPAs), 2) Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs), and 3) Alliance for Zero Extinction sites.

Important Plant Area (IPA) - Natural or semi-natural sites that 'exhibit exceptional botanical richness and/or support an outstanding assemblage of rare, threatened and/or endemic plant species and/or vegetation of high botanic value'

Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) - 'Selected on the basis of the bird numbers and species complements they hold. IBAs are particularly important for species that congregate in large numbers, such as wintering and passage waterbirds and breeding seabirds. Many sites have also been identified for species of global, and European/EU conservation concern.'

Alliance for Zero Extinction sites - Sites that contain '95% or more of the remaining population of one or more species listed as endangered or critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species'. There are currently no such sites in the UK.

Protected area - Protected areas include Nature Reserves, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Heritage Coast, and National Scenic Areas. For the full list of designations please see Protected Planet. Protected areas are taken from the World Database of Protected Areas (WDPA). Note that the data presented here do not include any Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Ecosystem type - Ecosystem type is determined using the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology's 2015 Land Cover Map (LCM2015). This uses satellite data to categorise land into land cover classes, which are further aggregated to 'aggregate classes', here referred to as Ecosystem type. Land cover classes are described in the JNCC Report 307 and in the Land Cover Map 2015 Documentation (PDF).

The following definitions give the broad habitats included in each Ecosystem type, with notes in brackets. Where no definition is given, the broad habitat name is the same as the ecosystem type -

Arable - 'Arable and Horticulture'

Broadleaf woodland - 'Broadleaved, Mixed and Yew Woodland'

Coastal - 'Supra-littoral Rock', 'Littoral Rock' and 'Littoral Sediment' (including saltmarsh)

Mountain, heath, bog - 'Dwarf Shrub Heath' (including heather and heather grassland), 'Bog', and 'Inland Rock'.

Semi-natural grassland - 'Neutral Grassland', 'Calcareous Grassland', 'Acid Grassland', and 'Fen, Marsh and Swamp'.

Available disaggregations
Calculations

Average proportion of Terrestrial KBAs covered by protected areas = sum area of KBAs of all ecosystem types except freshwater / sum area of protected areas of all ecosystrem types except freshwater *100.

No other calculations on the source data are required.

Other information

Trends in both series are driven by change in the area covered by Protected Areas. There is no change in the area coverd by Key Biodiversity Areas over the time period presented

Ecosystem type is determined using the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology's 2015 Land Cover Map (LCM2015). This uses satellite data to categorise land into land cover classes, which are based on the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Broad Habitats. Land cover classes are further aggregated to 'aggregate classes', here referred to as Ecosystem type. See definitions (above) for the land cover classes that are included in each ecosystem type. Land cover classes are described in the JNCC Report 307 (PDF, 25 pp, 3.3 MB). Please see the Land Cover Map 2015 Documentation (PDF, 65 pp, 1.1 MB) for methods.

The International Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) reports international data for this indicator. UK-level data can be found in the Country Profiles, with further information included on Protected Area designation types, and IUCN management categories. To view these you will need to create a log in but this is free to do. Please note that the figures we present here differ slightly, because we include an extra set of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), namely Important Plant Areas. IBAT gives the option to view individual KBAs and Protected Areas on a map - by clicking on KBAs, and then on the name of the area the user is given more information on why it is classed as a KBA, and the species present. By clicking on Protected Areas, and then on the name of the area, the user is taken to the individual area on Protected Planet. To use the map go to Data Map and make selections in Apply Layers.

The UK Biodiversity Indicators have related indicators for the UK - C1 'Protected Areas' includes 'Total extent of protected areas on land' (C1a), and 'Condition of areas/sites of Special Scientific Interest' (C1c). The Outcome Indicator Framework for the 25 Year Environment Plan includes interim indicator D2 'Extent and condition of protected sites – land, water and sea', taken from the England biodiversity indicators. More information on D2 is presented in the Outcome Indicator Framework for the 25 Year Environment Plan - 2021 Update (PDF, 167 pp, 2.8 MB).

Data follows the UN specification for this indicator. This indicator has not been identified in collaboration with topic experts.

Data last updated 03 December 2021
Metadata last updated 03 December 2021

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Indicator name

Proportion of important sites for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity that are covered by protected areas, by ecosystem type

Target name

By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements

Global indicator description
UN designated tier

Tier I

UN custodian agency

UN Environment (UNEP)-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), UN Environment (UNEP)

Link to UN metadata United Nations Sustainable Development Goals metadata for target 15.1 opens in a new window
Organisation

Office for National Statistics

Periodicity

Annual

Earliest available data

1999

Geographical coverage

United Kingdom

Link to data source Proportion of important sites for terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity that are covered by protected areas, by ecosystem type, UK, 1999 to 2019 opens in a new window
Release date 22 November 2021
Next release

TBC

Statistical classification

Official

Contact details

Geospatial@ons.gov.uk

Other information