(a) Relevant UK policies and strategies relating to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets; and (b) relevant national account publications implementing Systems of Environmental-Economic Accounting.

Non-statistical indicator

Sub-indicator a

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets 2011-2020 are a set of five goals and 20 targets to drive action on biodiversity. These goals aim to (1) address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, (2) reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use, (3) improve the status of biodiversity, (4) enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity, (5) enhance implementation through participatory planning and knowledge management.

The United Kingdom (UK) agreed to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in 2010 and reported progress against these targets. In both the Sixth National Report to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (2019) and the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’s report Biodiversity in the UK bloom or bust (2021), the UK was on track to achieving 5 of the 19 targets and failed to meet the other 14 targets. Specifically, the Sixth National Report to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (2019) indicates that the UK has achieved Target 2 of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Subsequent to the ending of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in 2020, the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) have built these targets into delivering the 2020 biodiversity strategy (Biodiversity 2020 A strategy for England’s wildlife and ecosystem services).

The devolved administrations of the UK have established a range of country-based initiatives to support the achievement of Aichi Target 2. In England, the National Planning Policy Framework was amended to strengthen the protection for irreplaceable habitats outlining that planning policies and decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural environment. This protection is being expanded nationally in November 2023 with the introduction of Defra’s Biodiversity Net Gain strategy for developers. In Scotland, a natural capital asset index has been published annually since 2011, measuring the quality and quantity of habitats according to their potential to deliver ecosystem services now and in the future. Wales has introduced the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 which brings biodiversity into the central decision-making process for public sector bodies in Wales.

Beyond 2020, the UK has committed to further protection under the 30 by 30 commitment, which aims to protect 30% of land and seas by 2030 with a view to boosting biodiversity.

The Aichi Biodiversity Targets came to an end in 2020 and have since been replaced by the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was agreed at the 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15). It is formed of 23 targets for 2030 and four longer-term goals for 2050 to reach the vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050.

The four countries of the UK are committed to working together to implement the GBF. The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) are responsible for facilitating the cross-UK work necessary for developing the UK’s response to the GBF to meet the UK’s international commitment to update our national biodiversity strategies and action plans to align with the GBF. JNCC expect to publish the UK’s response to the GBF in advance of COP 16, which will enable the UK to be factored into global analysis of information in the national biodiversity strategies and action plans. Subsequently, the UK will report progress in achieving national targets against the GBF in the Seventh National Report to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in 2026, following on from the Sixth National Report to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (2019) which reported against the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

At present (September 2023), England has published their national biodiversity strategy (Environmental Improvement Plan, 2023) and Scotland has recently published a significant consultation on their Strategic Delivery Framework for Biodiversity.

Sub-indicator b

The UK implements the UN System of Environmental Economic Accounting (SEEA) in the Environmental Accounts and Natural Capital Accounts published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The methodology behind the implementation of SEEA in the UK’s Natural Capital Accounts can be found in the ONS publication Principles of UK natural capital accounting (2023).

The Environmental Accounts show how the environment contributes to+B23 the economy (for example, through the extraction of raw materials), the impacts that the economy has on the environment (for example, energy consumption and air pollution emissions), and how society responds to environmental issues (for example, through taxation and expenditure on environmental protection).

UK Natural Capital comprises all the ecosystem services that UK natural assets provide; natural assets include soil, air, water, and all living things. The Natural Capital Accounts include both monetary estimates of ecosystem and other service flows, and habitat accounts. The habitat accounts provide estimates of the extent, condition, and asset values of different ecosystem types.

This indicator was revised following indicator changes from the United Nations 2020 Comprehensive Review. The indicator from before these revisions has been archived.

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.

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.

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