This core initiative aims to improve measures, standards, and valuation methods for agricultural, fishery and wild biodiversity as well as identify how these can be adapted to measure impacts at the landscape level. Furthermore the initiative aims to motivate companies, developers of standards and other actors to use those tools and methods in order to increase the biodiversity performance of the food sector.

Implemented in

  • Africa
  • Asia / Pacific
  • Europe and Central Asia
  • Latin America / Caribbean
  • Middle East
  • North America

Led by

Sectors of activity
Environmental Services, Food & Beverage

Type of initiative
Policy Frameworks & Tools, Research, Analysis, Assessment

Type of lead actor
Business Sector

Start date


Biodiversity loss is one of the principal global challenges in pursuit of the sustainable development goals, in particular SDG 14 & 15. Food systems, and in particular agricultural production and fishing, are key drivers for terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity loss. Addressing this challenge requires sound metric systems to monitor ongoing loss of biodiversity and success of conservation measures. Yet there is currently no consensus on generally accepted, reliable, and actionable biodiversity assessment methods. Such methods (or system of methods) should be used alongside more established environmental indicators, for instance for greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, communicating on biodiversity is more challenging due to its intrinsic complexity and the lack of common units, such as CO2-eq for carbon footprint. Furthermore, biodiversity needs to be assessed across multiple levels to yield meaningful results – this includes the landscape level for which current tools and methods are insufficient or lack compatibility.


As collected through the One Planet Reporting

Output level

Knowledge resource and technical tool

  • Publication of Biodiversity Technical Report

Training for SCP

Impact and Results

Workstream 1 of the Core Initiative has developed a Technical Report on Biodiversity Assessment Methods. The report compares different biodiversity assessment methods, used in different contexts / for different purposes. The technical report is complemented by a “Guide for Decision Makers”, which summarizes the technical report for non-expert decision makers, and enables businesses and governments to identify a biodiversity assessment method that works best in their context. We have also developed an inventory of case studies that illustrate the application of the biodiversity assessment methods described in the report & guide. All documents can be accessed at

Workstream 3 of the Core Initiative has published a Baseline Report that summarizing the results of a screening of 54 regional, national, European and international standards for the food sector and requirements of food companies for their supply chains. This report has been used as input for the “Recommendations to improve biodiversity protection in policy and criteria of food standards and sourcing requirements of food companies and retailers”. The Draft Version of the Biodiversity Performance Tool is currently being reviewed and tested by an expert group of the project partners of the EU LIFE project on Food & Biodiversity. It will be available end of 2018.

Next steps and how to get involved