The Norwegian Nature Index: Expert evaluations in precautionary approaches to biodiversity policy
The Norwegian Nature Index is a comprehensive effort to ‘make nature visible’ in communications between policymakers and the general public. To ensure that appropriate ‘early warnings’ for biodiversity loss are made available as a basis for precautionary approaches
to sustainability and biodiversity policy, different knowledge sources need to be applied, such as the Red List for threatened species and the Nature Index, which gives a comprehensive overview of biodiversity. The article shows how the Nature Index can be supplemented with ‘early warnings’
of biodiversity from involved scientific experts, who were asked to assess the situation in 2020 for the indicators, in view of all available knowledge. They also assessed the uncertainty in their forecasts and their considerations of the need for and difficulty of implementing management
measures to maintain biodiversity at the current level. Particularly for the major ecosystems considered to have a poor state, namely forests and open lowlands, experts indicated that urgent action was needed to improve the state of many indicators and that such management action would be
possible. The findings indicate potential for eliciting experts' formal and informal knowledge in assessing the need and potential approaches to biodiversity policy.