Global Biodiversity Outlook


Geographical coverage

Geographical scale of the assessment Global
Country or countries covered
Any other necessary information or explanation for identifying the location of the assessment, including site or region name

Three editions of the Global Biodiversity Outlook have so far been published by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in 2001, 2006 and 2010. The fourth edition is prepared for 2014.

Conceptual framework, methodology and scope

Assessment objectives

To periodically summarise the status of biological diversity and analyse the steps being taken by the global community to ensure that biodiversity is conserved and used sustainably and that the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources are shared equitably.

Mandate for the assessment

The second meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1995 called for a periodic report on biological diversity, including a summary of the status of biodiversity and the steps taken to achieve the objectives of the Convention. Subsequent meetings of the Conference of the Parties provided specific mandates for the preparations of the individual editions of the GBO.

Conceptual framework and/or methodology used for the assessment

Other (please specify)

The third edition of the GBO used the framework of indicators for measuring progress towards the achievement of the 2010 Biodiversity Target as well as scenario exercises conducted for the MA, the GEO and others.

URL or copy of conceptual framework developed or adapted

Its conceptual framework is agreed by the Conference of the Parties and included in its decisions (especially II/1 and VII/30).

System(s) assessed

  • Marine
  • Coastal
  • Island
  • Inland water
  • Forest and woodland
  • Cultivated/Agricultural land
  • Grassland
  • Mountain
  • Dryland
  • Polar
  • Urban

Species groups assessed

Ecosystem services/functions assessed



Supporting Services/Functions

Cultural Services

Scope of assessment includes

Drivers of change in systems and services


Impacts of change in services on human well-being


Options for responding/interventions to the trends observed


Explicit consideration of the role of biodiversity in the systems and services covered by the assessment


Timing of the assessment

Year assessment started


Year assessment finished


If ongoing, year assessment is anticipated to finish

Periodicity of assessment


If repeated, how frequently

Every four to five years

Assessment outputs


Communication materials (e.g. brochure, presentations, posters, audio-visual media)

A range of GBO-3-related communication material is available at

Journal publications

Training materials

See material available at

Other documents/outputs

Tools and processes

Tools and approaches used in the assessment

  • Modelling
  • Geospatial analysis
  • Indicators
  • Scenarios
  • Economic valuation

Process used for stakeholder engagement in the assessment process and which component

Stakeholder involvement in GBO is primarily though the submission to the Secretariat of the Convention of national reports of parties to the Convention (who are the main stakeholders). Reaching out beyond the parties to general stakeholders in biodiversity (which includes the entire world) depends on how parties use GBO (which is available in numerous languages). The wide consultation during the review phase indicates that the scientific community can be involved.

Key stakeholder groups engaged

Parties to the CBD, the wider scientific community, UN agencies, non-governmental and indigenous peoples organisations.

The number of people directly involved in the assessment process


Incorporation of scientific and other types of knowledge

  • Resource experts (e.g. foresters etc)
  • Traditional/local knowledge
  • Citizen science

Supporting documentation for specific approaches, methodology or criteria developed and/or used to integrate knowledge systems into the assessment

Assessment reports peer reviewed



Accessibility of data used in assessment

The data used by GBO come initially from parties’ national reports, supplemented by other assessments, relevant peer-reviewed literature and data provided by the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, DIVERSITAS and others.

Policy impact

Impacts the assessment has had on policy and/or decision making, as evidenced through policy references and actions

The findings of GBO-3 have helped to shape the development, and subsequent adoption by the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD, of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, with its Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

Independent or other review on policy impact of the assessment


Lessons learnt for future assessments from these reviews

The policy impact of GBO primarily relates to decisions of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention. Providing a solid background of information, drawn especially from parties’ national reports, is designed to facilitate well-informed decisions being reached by the Conference of the Parties, although the decisions remain subject to other considerations. The wide distribution of GBO, along with its web-based portal, presentations and brochures, are designed to enhance its policy impact.

Capacity building

Capacity building needs identified during the assessment

Scientific, technical and technological capacity to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Actions taken by the assessment to build capacity

How have gaps in capacity been communicated to the different stakeholders

Through decisions of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD and through collaboration of the CBD with agencies and funding institutions (e.g. Global Environment Facility and bilateral donors).

Knowledge generation

Gaps in knowledge identified from the assessment

Extent of terrestrial ecosystems other than forests; threat status of species insufficiently assessed by the IUCN Red List process (taxa other than birds, mammals, amphibians), and others.

How gaps in knowledge have been communicated to the different stakeholders

GBO-3 stresses that gaps in knowledge are significant and need addressing but are not a reason for not to act.

Additional relevant information