Indicators are a central part of effective decision-making. They can be used for a number of reasons:
• to help understand the current and past status of biodiversity, and why it may be changing
• to help decide on the most appropriate goals, policies and actions to address an issue
• to raise awareness about an issue through different communication channels and means
• to put the issue and responses into context.
• to help assess the progress, success and effectiveness of policy decisions and actions taken to address an issue as part of adaptive management.
• to track progress towards global, regional and national targets
Indicators provide an important interface between policy and biodiversity-related science. However, indicators by themselves provide little understanding of an issue and they always need some analysis and interpretation of what they show.