To track changes in biodiversity and progress towards environmental and sustainable development targets requires biodiversity indicators and databases. Often though, such indicators and databases are not available or suitable for use by government or business, and there can be several reasons for this. The experience of UNEP-WCMC has found that having an information system approach helps to identify and address the specific reasons for a lack of required biodiversity information.

The Biodiversity Information System Framework Tool helps you rapidly identify the strong and weak links in the information system for any biodiversity topic. It can be used individually or in a workshop, to help define all the necessary components and institutional roles to organise an information system for indicator production and making data available for users.

The tool is an interactive pdf, in the form of a framework diagram of an information system. For any particular indicator, database, or biodiversity key question, the user can assess the technical and institutional status of each part of the diagram. The Tool includes a table of the results and conclusions of the assessment. It is supported by a guidance document which explains the information system framework and how to use the pdf Tool, provides an example of its use, and gives links to other relevant tools and guidance.

When the tool is used for an indicator it is recommended to complete an indicator fact sheet, and fact sheet templates are also available for download.

The tool is produced by a UN Environment and UNEP-WCMC project with support from the European Commission. For support in using the Tool please contact They also welcome feedback and examples of its use.

Watch this instructional video on how to use the tool:


Photo by Tom Baas