By Sean Hoban

February 10, 2021

genetic diversity, policy, national reports, CBD, SBSTTA, indicators, monitoring

The GEO BON Genetic Composition Working Group has completed the first analysis of genetic diversity reporting to the Convention on Biological Diversity.  We analyzed 114 CBD National Reports (from the 5th and 6th reporting period) for how countries report on genetic diversity conservation actions, threats, indicators, values, and species of focus. 

A one page summary policy brief of the study in English is available here. Generous volunteers have made this policy brief available in 13 languages:

The full report is on bioRxiv hereIn light of the CBD post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework we recommend: improving awareness of the importance of genetic diversity, uptake of recently proposed genetic diversity indicators, improved wording for Goal and Target, and improving guidance to enable consistent reporting of progress of genetic diversity in future National Reports.

We found that the importance of genetic diversity is recognised by most Parties to the CBD. However, genetic targets and indicators mainly addressed genetic diversity within cultivated species, with little focus on wild species. We also found that few reports mentioned monitoring and managing genetic diversity in situ, and genetic change is poorly monitored by current indicators.   

Although the study is still in peer review, we are circulating this summary due to timeliness of its recommendations:  please consider sharing with colleagues involved in CBD policy or reporting, or others who may be interested, but please note that the study is still in peer review.

The leading co-authors, Sean Hoban ( and Maggie Hunter ( are happy to answer questions.

We thank the following persons for volunteering their time to create the translations, and we thank Kaitlin Kovacs (USGS) for help in design and production. We also thank Sarah Kim Pearson for organizing, writing, and editing, and for managing the translations.

  • Afrikaans: Isa-Rita Russo, Cardiff University,
  • Arabic: Tarek Mukassabi, University of Benghazi,
  • Catalan: Sílvia Pérez-Espona / Ivan Paz-Viñas, Sílvia: The University of Edinburgh / Ivan: University of Toulouse: /
  • Croatian: Lucija Jelaska, University of Zagreb,
  • Dutch: Joachim Mergeay, Research Institute for Nature and Forest INBO,
  • French: Ivan Paz-Vinas / Joachim Mergeay, Ivan: University of Toulouse / Joachim: Resarch Institute for Nature and Forest INBO, Ivan: / Joachim:
  • Italian: Cristiano Vernesi, Fondazione Edmund Mach,
  • Portuguese: Erica Basto and Isa Pais, Erica: Animal and Plant Health Agency (UK Government); Isa: Cardiff University, Erica:; Isa:
  • Romanian: Ancuta Fedorca, National Institute for Research and Development in Forestry Marin Dracea and Transilvania University,
  • Spanish: Ivan Paz-Vinas / Sílvia Pérez-Espona, Ivan: University of Toulouse / Sílvia: The University of Edinburgh Ivan: / Sílvia:
  • Swedish: Robert Ekblom, Uppsala University,
  • Welsh: Hefin Jones, Cardiff University,
  • Galician: Julia Sanchez Vilas, Cardiff University,
  • Norwegian: Øystein Flagstad, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
GEO BON Genetic Composition Working Group analyzes content of CBD National Reports and makes recommendations

News from: GEO BON projects