APPLYING THE SINGAPORE INDEX ON CITIES’ BIODIVERSITY
By Lena Chan, National Biodiversity Centre, National Parks Board, 1 Cluny Road, Singapore 259569
Biodiversity and the ecosystem services they provide are essential for human survival and well-being. However, biodiversity is being depleted at an unprecedented rate. It is, hence, crucial that biodiversity be conserved in cities, where more than half of the world’s population lives. Biodiversity conservation The Singapore Index on Cities’ Biodiversity (SI) or the City Biodiversity Index is a self-assessment tool that was developed to assist cities to monitor and evaluate their biodiversity conservation efforts. The development of the tool was initiated at the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This process is CBD-led and was facilitated at the global level through the Global Partnership on Cities and Biodiversity (GPCB).
The objectives of this paper are to a) chart the development of a monitoring tool for biodiversity conservation efforts; b) present preliminary results of an analysis of data received from cities; c) evaluate the applicability of the SI as an evaluation tool; and d) list some of the other applications of the SI.
A review of existing environmental indices, both for countries and cities, was carried out. Scientifically credible, user-friendly and robust indicators were selected by a panel of experts, city officials and international non-governmental organisations. A User’s Manual for the City Biodiversity Index was written to assist cities on how to calculate the scoring of the indicators. Cities were invited to test the indicators of the index.
A review of existing environmental indices, both for countries and cities, was carried out. Scientifically credible, user-friendly and robust indicators were selected by a panel of Results
The analysis of data from some of the cities will be presented. Lessons learnt, including comments and responses from cities from this initiative will be shared. The review of recent city indices will be updated.
The results from a preliminary evaluation of the SI as a self-assessment tool will be given. Suggestions on how to improve the index and how to apply it more broadly will be proposed.