Last month the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT), the ‘one-stop shop’ for data on the natural world, announced a whole suite of updates that make it easier than ever for decision makers across all sectors to take nature into account.
IBAT brings together three of the world’s most authoritative global nature datasets: the World Database on Protected Areas, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and Key Biodiversity Areas.
IBAT has always put users at the heart of its development. When redesigning this tool, the IBAT Alliance (UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), BirdLife International, Conservation International, and IUCN), therefore worked closely with those users themselves. This led to new functionalities such as data downloads, freshwater reports, and the ability to select custom land areas, making it easier than ever for users to assess their impact on the natural world.
By rebuilding IBAT using the latest technologies, it now has the flexibility to evolve and adapt to demands in the future.
Dr Eugenie Regan, IBAT Manager based at UNEP-WCMC, commented: “Over the past few years we’ve seen a steady increase in demand from new organisations wishing to understand how to mitigate their impact on the natural world, ranging from General Motors to the International Olympic Committee to the International Finance Corporation. While we originally developed IBAT to support early-stage biodiversity risk screening, we saw a chance to develop it further and allow a whole new range of people benefit from its insights.
“The recent IPBES Global Assessment showed how we need transformative change across the globe to reverse the decline of our environment. With tools such as IBAT the private sector, governments, and all the sectors in-between can see how they can reduce their impact.”
The IBAT Alliance announced the launch at the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Zoology on 12 June, where they were joined by biodiversity scientists, business professionals, and representatives from a range of sectors.