Singapore Index on Biodiversity
A new tool for cities to measure biodiversity was formally endorsed last week at the Convention on Biological Diversity at Nagoya, Japan, reports Channel News Asia.
Called the Singapore Index, the tool uses a report card type of scoring system that cities can use to carry out their own assessment. The assessment includes 23 indicators, and results in an overall quantitative score that will help cities prioritise biodiversity conservation initiatives and evaluate their reduction of biodiversity loss. The tool is designed to reveal where each city must focus its attention in order to see further improvement.
The tool is created by Singapore, which proves to be a model city for demonstrating how economic development, greenery and the aforementioned biodiversity conservation can become mutually reinforcing.
The Singapore Index focuses on three components – native biodiversity in the city, ecosystem services provided by that native biodiversity, and governance and management of native biodiversity, summarizes the User’s Manual. According to Convention on Biological Diversity, Singapore’s Minister of National Development proposed the Index in May 2008. This was followed by a Technical Expert Workshop in February 2009, and 17 technical experts including city executives in charge of implementation or management of biodiversity and various urban projects helped design the tool. The tool was later tested and further revision was discussed until finally it came full circle and was presented at the 10th Convention on Biological Diversity last week.
As we congratulate Singapore on what promises to be a very valuable tool for measuring the biodiversity of cities, we must credit this tool further for being a wonderful close to the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity 2010.