Chapter 8. Biodiversity & Habitat


Category Description

Biodiversity underpins all ecosystem services that sustain our environment and power our economies. Natural habitats have witnessed considerable declines in biodiversity in recent decades. Today, many species are, however, at risk of extinction. The Biodiversity & Habitat issue category seeks to evaluate a country’s performance in habitat conservation and species protection. 

Each nation’s Biodiversity & Habitat score reflects a composite of six underlying indicators. Our selected indicators are highlighted in the Convention on Biological Diversity’s “Aichi Targets,” a set of internationally agreed-upon goals for conservation and ecosystem management. The indicators in Biodiversity & Habitatare: terrestrial biome protection (national weights), terrestrial biome protection (global weights), marine protected area, Species Protection Index, Protected Area Representativeness Index, andSpecies Habitat Index.

Indicators Included

1.      Terrestrial biome protection (national weights): The percentage of biomes in protected areas, weighted by national composition of biomes.

2.      Terrestrial biome protection (global weights): The percentage of biomes in protected areas, weighted by global composition of biomes.

3.      Marine protected areas: The percentage of marine protected areas (MPAs) within a country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

4.      Species Protection Index: The average area of species’ distributions in a country with protected areas.

5.      Protected Area Representativeness Index: The extent to which terrestrial protected areas are ecologically representative.

6.      Species Habitat Index: The proportion of habitat within a country remaining, relative to a baseline set in the year 2001. 

Biodiversity & Habitat indicators

Marine protected areas

% of EEZ

Terrestrial biome protection (national weights)

% of biomes (capped)

Terrestrial biome protection (global weights)

% of biomes (capped)

Species protection index


Protected area representativeness index


Species habitat index


We draw attention to the Protected Area Representativeness and Species Habitat indices, as these indicators represent new metrics within the 2018 EPI. These new indicators reflect international efforts to develop a common and more complete system for monitoring changes in biodiversity.