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Video Message by Dr. Lena Chan

City Biodiversity Index (or Singapore Index)

The First, Second & Third Expert Workshops on the Development of the City Biodiversity Index held in Singapore

The framework of the City Biodiversity Index was formulated by the participants at the First Expert Workshop on the Development of the City Biodiversity Index in February 2009. A Technical Task Force was set up to fine-tune the indicators of the City Biodiversity Index and to make it user-friendly. After a preliminary assessment of their data availability and feedback by several cities worldwide, the indicators and scoring system were further improved upon and the first version of the User's Manual for this Index was developed.

The Second Expert Workshop was held in July, 2010. A total of 32 experts on urban biodiversity conservation and planning, as well as representatives from 7 cities worldwide, attended the workshop. The participants shared the results of the test-bedding of the Index and discussed the further revision of the indicators, to make the indicator set more practical and user-friendly. The workshop documents and presentations by the participants are available online.

As the result of discussions at the Second Expert Workshop and the following thorough consideration to the revised set of indicators, the revised version of the User’s Manual for the City Biodiversity Index has been developed.

The third workshop will be held in Singapore on 11-12 October 2011, and will be followed by a meeting on the City Biodiversity Outlook I on 13 October 2011.

Road Map

29 May 2008 Singapore made commitment to work on a CBD-led development of an index on cities' biodiversity as an evaluation tool. See Statement: by Executive Secretary, Ahmed Djoghlaf, on the occasion of the World Cities Summit, Singapore, 23-25 June 2008.

10-12 February 2009 The City Biodiversity Index (CBI), First Expert Workshop, Singapore. "The City Biodiversity Index” will assist cities in the benchmarking of cities' biodiversity conservation efforts over time. Draft Concept Paper on the Development of The Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity (CBI), prepared by National Parks Board, Singapore in preparation for the 1st Technical Expert Panel Workshop on The Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity (CBI), Singapore. Meeting documents are available here. Pictures here.

March 2009 – September 2009 Work with Singapore and the Task Force on Cities and Biodiversity to test CBI in several cities. Work includes:
  • Creation of a Technical Taks Force, including Dr. Nancy Holman, Mr. Peter Werner, Professor Thomas Elmqvist, Mr. Andre Mader, Ms. Elisa Calcaterra, Mr. Oliver Hillel and Dr. Lena Chan
  • Face-to-face meetings at the Urban Nature Forum and ICLEI World Congress, 11-18 June 2009, Edmonton, Canada.
  • User’s Manual for the City BiodiversityIndex (the 1st version)

July 2009 Publication of a letter to the Editor of "Nature" from CBD Executive Secretary, Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, and Deputy Director of the Singapore National Parks Board, Dr. Lena Chan

30 September 2009 Finalisation of the User’s Manual for the Singapore Index on Cities’ Biodiversity

November 2009 Curitiba Planning Event-Official event of the Global Partnership on Cities and Biodiversity during which the CBI will be discussed

March 2010 Collation of the results of the testing phase of the Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity (CBI)

July 2010 Second Expert Workshop on the Development of the City Biodiversity Index


In May 2008, Mr. Mah Bow Tan, Minister of National Development of Singapore, proposed the CBD-led development of the city biodiversity index at the 9th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). To follow-up on this, the Secretariat of the CBD and the National Parks Board of Singapore (NParks) jointly organised the Technical Expert Workshop on The Singapore Index on Cities' Biodiversity in Singapore from 10 February to 12 February 2009. A total of seventeen technical experts on biodiversity indicators as well as city executives and city representatives responsible for implementation and/or management of biodiversity and urban projects and programmes attended this workshop in the development of the index as an evaluation tool. Once the evaluation tool has been designed, cities were invited to test its applicability. The Index was be presented at the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD and is part of the Plan of Action endorsed by COP10.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme