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The Norwegian Nature Index –
providing an overview on the
state of biodiversity
Erik Framstad, Signe Nybø, Bård Pedersen, Olav Skarpaas
Where is information on biodiversity
and ecosystems located?
In the brains of experts
and in their computers
In various reports,
publications,
media…
How is it communicated to society ?
The integrated picture might be hard to get…
www.nina.no
Objectives for the Nature Index
(Ministry of Environment in 2007)

Get an overview of state and trends of biodiversity in
all major ecosystems, incl. semi-natural systems

Easy to communicate

Scientifically sound
 Involve relevant institutions with biodiversity data
 Involve group of statisticians

Increase the understanding of the need for more
biodiversity monitoring
www.nina.no
What is the Nature Index ?
An online system for storing and displaying ecological
information on the state of ecosystems
Scientific community
Public & Managers
Ecological information on
the state of indicators
Synthetic information
Online
database
www.nina.no
Output
website
Information flow - nature index
framework
Small game populations
Index
0,8
0,4
Nature Index
Framework
NI tn   S ijktnWijkt
0,0
1990
2000
2010 2013
Forest
Index
ijk
0,8
0,4
0,0
1990
>300 indicators
>150 experts
www.nina.no
2000
2010 2013
Researchers from various research
institutes & universities
Data entered online
An expert or expert group for each indicator
Monitoring
data
Research,
modelling
Expert
judgement
Mean values and uncertainties entered for each indicator
and integrated in the final index
www.nina.no
Calculating the Nature Index I



The Nature Index is a composite index of
many individual indicators
Indicators are scaled (0–1) relative to a
baseline (reference state)
Then combined and weighted to produce an
index that aims to assess the state and trends
of biodiversity in ecosystems
www.nina.no
Calculating the Nature Index II






Both reference values and indicator values have some
degree of uncertainty
Experts estimate these uncertainties for each indicator
(interquartile range)
Based on these estimates, probability distributions are fitted
for each indicator
These distributions are used to calculate the NI as a
stochastic variable using parametric bootstrapping
The median of the simulated distribution represents the NI
estimate
Confidence limits are obtained from the simulated
distribution
www.nina.no
State (scaled value)
States are calculated by scaling
indicators by their reference value:
S=1
S<1
The reference is a
minimum value
Observed value
All States are dimensionless numbers, expressed on a 0-1 scale
www.nina.no
Indicators are weighted, to increase
representability
www.nina.no
Joint presentation of ecosystem
Condition and Extent
www.nina.no
A major habitat: Forest
A composite index of 86 indicators
Forest
Index
0,8
0,4
0,0
1990
www.nina.no
2000
2010 2013
Ecosystem service capacity
A composite index over 4 indicators
Small game populations
Index
0,8
0,4
0,0
1990
Photos: © John Atle Kålås, © Jan Ove Gjershaug
www.nina.no
2000
2010 2013
THEMATIC INDEX for ecosystem pressure:
Acidification of freshwater
Group all indicators sensitive to acidification:
1990
www.nina.no
2010
Summary of the Nature Index






Framework for communicating experts'
knowledge on biodiversity to the society
Overview/synthesis of state and trends of
biodiversity based on this knowledge
Weighted average of scaled indicators
Easy to communicate
Uncomplicated and transparent framework
Facilitate intuitive interpretation of results
www.nina.no
Thank you for the attention!
Involved Research institutes:
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)
Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO)
Institute of Marine Research (IMR)
NTNU University Museum
Statistics Norway
Financed by Norwegian Environment Agency / Ministry of Climate and Environment
www.nina.no