Use of bird indicators in informing policy and practice:a tool for assessment

HrIstov I.


Biodiversity indicators are considered to be one of the most successful ways of communicating biodiversity status to decisionmakers, helping them to prioritize their policy and practices on biodiversity conservation. However, it is less clear how decision-makers make use of indicators, not only in the feld of conservation, but also in other felds of decision-making concerning social and economic development. Up to now there has been little assessment of the use of available biodiversity indicators by decision-makers. One of the reasons behind this is a lack of tools for such assessment. It is commonly asserted that birds are one of the most suitable groups for developing indicators for the state of biodiversity. Within Europe, long-term trend data exist that have enabled a suite of bird indicators to be developed. That is why the current study considers the processes standing behind the use of the Wild Bird Index as one of the most robust and well-developed indicators in Europe. This paper describes the role and purposes of biodiversity indicators in informing decision-makers and the debates in the literature on approaches to communicating an indicator’s message effectively. As a result, the study proposes a tool for assessing the level of indicator uptake. The tool is designed for assessing the uptake of biodiversity indicators in general. After being tested, the tool is expected to contribute to assessments of other biodiversity indicators effectiveness.