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Sustainable use of the components of biodiversity is one of the three central goals of the CBD. Article 2 of the CBD defines sustainable use as:
“The use of the components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to the long term decline in biological diversity, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations”
This definition aims to ensure that species and ecosystems are available for use both now and over the long term. As the human population of the world expands, determining how, what and where we are using wild resources sustainably is becoming increasingly important.
As yet, there are no indicators that focus on the sustainability of use of marine, freshwater and terrestrial species. UNEP-WCMC is therefore collaborating with a wide range of partner organisations (including the IUCN Species survival Commission and Sustainable Use Specialist Group, TRAFFIC, CITES and the Zoological Society of London) to develop two new indicators of sustainable use: the Wild Commodities Index and the CITES Indicator of Internationally Traded Species. These indicators will track the wild populations and commercial demand for a selection of highly used animals and plants, and reflect the extent to which the use of these species is sustainable.
The Wild Commodities Index will track changes in the wild populations and commercial demand of a selection of highly used animals and plants, and determine the extent to which the use of these species over the last two decades and has been sustainable.
The CITES Indicator of Internationally Traded Species will look at trends in the wild status of a selection of internationally traded animals and plants over the last two decades
In parallel with these indicators, the FAO are developing indicators that aim measure the proportion of the world’s fish stocks, forests and farmland that is being used or managed sustainably. Together, these will provide a wealth of information about what resources are being used sustainably, how and where.
Link to sustainable use page on the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership website.
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