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City Biodiversity Index

The City Biodiversity Index, also known as the Singapore Index, is an index that measures the biodiversity of urban nature. Developed as a result of international cooperation, the purpose of the index is to offer tools for the protection of urban biodiversity. It is meant to serve as a tool with which cities can evaluate the development of their native biodiversity. The development work is coordinated from Singapore.

The CBI is composed of 23 indicators, which are divided into three Core Components: native biodiversity, ecosystem services and governance. Each indicator is scored on a range of 0–4. This was the first time that the indicators were scored in Helsinki. In the future, the index is meant to be calculated every four years.

The scoring only took into account those indicators for which a score could be calculated. Helsinki achieved a total score of 58/96. The indicators on native biodiversity yielded a score of 17/44. The score for ecosystem services was 11/16, while governance earned a score of 30/36.

Based on the index, the state of biodiversity management in Helsinki is good. The city has retained much of its native biodiversity, and has plenty of recreational areas relative to the population. The city also has a moderate amount of permeable surfaces. The number of ecologically damaging invasive alien species is low.

However, only a small number of Helsinki's many natural areas are protected, and the city's network of natural areas is disconnected. Furthermore, there is only little monitoring data available for the indicators on native species, and some of the data is out of date.

Even though Helsinki has plenty of natural and recreational areas and the national core curriculum emphasises biodiversity, based on current information comprehensive school pupils make surprisingly few field trips to these areas. Based on the index the amount of funds that Helsinki allocates to safeguarding and managing biodiversity is very low.

The index results highlight not only areas in clear need of development, but notable successes as well. The indicators related to governance in particular showed that in some areas Helsinki could even consider setting additional city-specific biodiversity objectives.

The index results have been compiled into indicator-specific cards, which describe the current state of each indicator and their planned monitoring.

06.12.2019 18:32