Biodiversity 3 min

Convention on Biological Diversity: improved evaluation to prevent biodiversity loss

In January, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) published the zero draft of its “Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”. In an article published in Science in March, scientists from several universities and research institutes throughout the world, including Bordeaux University and INRAE, alerted that the goals and indicators proposed in this document neglected genetic diversity – the fundamental element of evolution and of all biological diversity (1). In a further article published in August in Biological Conservation (2) the authors proposed three new genetic indicators as well as changes to the current targets and indicators in the CBD framework.

Published on 27 July 2020

illustration Convention on Biological Diversity: improved evaluation to prevent biodiversity loss
© M. Heuertz

Proposed indicators

To meet global conservation goals, the scientists propose that genetic diversity within all species must be conserved, measured and monitored using appropriate metrics. The three indicators they propose are available immediately, are applicable to all species and are scalable, or, in other words, can be calculated locally, regionally or globally.

  • The number of populations (or breeds) within species whose effective population size is higher than 500, and those whose effective population size is lower than 500.
  • The proportion of (sub)-populations (or geographic range) maintained within species when compared to a historic reference.
  • The number of species and populations in which genetic diversity is being monitored using DNA-based methods.

Revised goals

Goal for 2030: to maintain existing genetic diversity and put an end to the loss of genetic diversity in all species. Design and implement strategies to prevent future loss of genetic diversity.

Goal for 2050: to secure and restore adaptive potential and the long-term maintenance of genetic diversity within populations of all species.


For more information: the policy brief can be downloaded in English and in several other languages using the following link:

1. (French only)

2. Genetic diversity targets and indicators in the CBD post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework must be improved. Hoban et al. Biological Conservation, Volume 248, August 2020, 108654 :


In the INRAE-Université de Bordeaux Joint Research Unit for Biodiversity, Genes and Communities (BIOGECO), Myriam Heuertz, INRAE Research Director and co-author of the articles in Science and Biological Conservation, is working on the genetic diversity of tropical trees. She is particularly interested in the genetic delimitation of closely related tree species in French Guiana and their genetic adaptations to environmental variation. In BIOGECO, a central research theme concerns the evolutionary history and response of species and communities to global change, with emphasis on socio-economically important tree species such as pines, oaks and other trees, as well as their associated organisms. Genetics thus enables scientists from the Université de Bordeaux and INRAE to produce fundamental knowledge which can serve as a tool to predict the responses of forests to global change in order to ensure the provision of ecosystem services and to better protect their biodiversity.


Communication Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux

Scientific contact

Myriam Heuertz Joint Research Unit for Biodiversity, Genes and Communities - BIOGECO (INRAE-Université de Bordeaux)



Learn more


Scott McCairns, an environmental explorer

When he discusses his career studying the ecological evolution of aquatic ecosystems, Scott McCairns, researcher at INRAE Brittany-Normandy, affirms that both luck, and timing, have been on his side. His recipe for success shines through his contagious enthusiasm: a curious scientific mind and a continual drive to expand his field of research.

21 December 2019


Xylella fastidiosa: new research avenues

Since the discovery of the first outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa in Corsica in 2015, INRA has focused its research on the development of technologies to accelerate detection and identification of the bacteria in France. Scientific progress concerning the vector insects and their interactions with the environment mark another phase in research. Models and detection tools are sent to the French authorities in charge of crisis management – the DGAL (French Directorate General for Food Safety) and ANSES (The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety) – to improve preventive actions and adapt the prophylactic analyses and measures.

21 February 2020