Change in wetlands extent over time (% change over time) ( BBB )

This indicator is proposed as an indicator for Sustainable Development Target 06.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.


This indicator can inform on the following targets:


CBD and UNEP, on behalf of UN-Water Assessments are undertaken by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, in collaboration with CBD (including the biodiversity indicators partnership) and UNEP, through the GEMI monitoring initiative. Under the UN-Water umbrella, the GEMI monitoring initiative will integrate the monitoring Framework in place under the SoWWS (see description of GEMI under 6.3.1). Baseline data are available at the global level. Historical records are available for some regions and wetlands types from the 1700's. The baseline assessment will be 2015 (first SoWWS report) with remote sensing data using 1970 as the baseline year. Currently, 169 Parties regularly report on trends in wetlands to the Ramsar Convention. Other data sources enable fully global coverage


The indicator uses the existing Living Planet Index methodology for data collection and analysis. Data are compiled and disseminated through the Ramsar Convention's "State of the World's Wetlands and their Services" (SoWWS) reports which are overseen by its Scientific and Technical Review Panel. A summary of the first assessment exercise is being provided to Ramsar COP-12 in June 2015 providing baseline analysis ( n7_sowws_e_0.pdf) The indicator is also a sub-indicator for Aichi Biodiversity Target 5 (with reporting mechanism in place for that). The data originates from multiple sources including national reports submitted to the Ramsar Convention, published scientific papers and, increasingly, through analysis of remote sensing data. Wetland area is most accurately estimated through manual digitalization of aerial or satellite images, a methodology that in the coming years will be advanced by remote sensing. Supplementary information comes through scientific papers and national reports. Heterogeneous datasets are considered to be acceptable, if not desirable: change in extent will still be captured and heterogeneous datasets allow for more discrete analysis by wetland type, location and region. The data can be disaggregated by wetland type: for example, for lakes, floodplains, coastal wetlands or artificial/constructed wetlands. This enables more refined assessment of progress towards target 6.6 since wetland type and location are relevant variables when assessing progress towards target 6.6.