This spreadsheet is the underlying data for the biodiversity indicator E1, Biodiversity data for decision making.
Good policy making and evaluation is based on evidence. Evidence will also help to engage the public, natural resource managers and business to actively address biodiversity loss. There are therefore a range of geographic scales of decision making (from local to national), and audiences (public sector, industry, public, research, etc.) that have an interest in the availability of biodiversity data. The indicator is focused on the availability of data collated by the National Biodiversity Network for decision making - evaluating actual use within decision making is more difficult.
Millions of biological observations (records) have been recorded in the UK over the past century by a wide variety of organisations and individuals. Most of these people are volunteers who organise themselves through many national and local societies and recording schemes. The UK government (through its conservation and environmental agencies), local government and non-government wildlife-related organisations all collect and use biodiversity data. Information is held by many different organisations and the individuals who collect it, in a variety of formats, from computer databases to handwritten record cards. This means that although a huge amount of information exists, it is not always easy to access.
This indicator provides an evaluation of the number of records added to the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Gateway in a particular year, and the resolution of those data, as a proxy for the evidence available to underpin conservation decision making. Figure E1i shows the year that records were added to the NBN Gateway, not the date of the record.
This is one of a suite of 24 UK biodiversity indicators published by JNCC on behalf of Defra; the latest publication date was 19 January 2016 - for indicator E1 the latest data are for 2015.