Step 3.3A: Identify the main positive and negative trends in biodiversity

Ideally a country will have identified its main biodiversity trends in the reports to the CBD, the NBSAP, national “State of the Environment” reports, etc. It is important to note that almost all these reports focus—in some cases entirely—on negative trends. Although this may be a good reflection of national priorities, BIOFIN also seeks to identify positive trends, as they can often lead to great opportunities for formulating finance solutions.

The PIR team should gather the main documents that describe trends in nature and create a master list with descriptions and references to the original documents. Where spatial analysis is available, it can provide an excellent foundation for the later steps in the PIR. The team should review the described list of trends and assess the following:

  • Is the list comprehensive? – Does it cover changes in species and habitats; ecosystem services; threatened and endangered species and habitat status information; ecosystems of biodiversity importance, both terrestrial and aquatic, and marine and coastal (if relevant); agriculture; water; fisheries; forestry; protected areas; wildlife trade; climate interactions; etc.?
  • Are the trend descriptions specific and clear? – “Deforestation” is occurring in many countries; this is a nonspecific trend and very difficult to assess. A more detailed description might be “increasing rate of deforestation (1.5 percent per annum) in tropical forest areas outside of protected areas”.
  • Are the trends supported by well documented sources? If not, are they justified otherwise, e.g. by expert input?
  • Have trends been ranked for importance by any criteria? What criteria?

Attempts should also be made to refine the description of each trend (or create #3 out of #1) so that each trend can be connected to the underlying drivers described in Step 3.3B.