Good Practices for the Collection of Biodiversity Baseline Data

Biodiversity baseline data cover

Biodiversity baseline data cover

Good Practices for the Collection of Biodiversity Baseline Data was prepared for the Multilateral Financing Institutions (MFI) Biodiversity Working Group and CSBI. It summarizes good practices for biodiversity baseline studies that allow biodiversity to be included effectively and fully in impact assessment and related management plans.

A biodiversity baseline study is the collection and interpretation of information on the biodiversity values at a site; this includes the species, habitats and ecological systems present, their current condition and their trends before a project commences. Biodiversity baseline studies play an important role in supporting the assessment of the risks and impacts of projects on biodiversity. They allow for applying the mitigation hierarchy and designing long-term biodiversity management and monitoring measures.

The guidance is for companies, financial institutions, regulators, specialists in environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) and other parties interested in biodiversity. Through clear, practical guidance, it helps practitioners to understand the technical concepts underpinning biodiversity baseline studies, specify the required studies/analyses to be undertaken, identify the specialized skills required to undertake them, and interpret the results.

The guide is available in English. It is a companion document to the MFI Biodiversity Working Group’s Good Practices for Biodiversity-Inclusive Impact Assessment and Management Planning and CSBI’s Timeline Tool and A Cross-Sector Guide for Implementing the Mitigation Hierarchy.

CSBI welcomes feedback on how the guide has been used in practice and on any improvements that can be made, as well as suggestions to enhance its uptake and dissemination. Please email us at, or see the Engage and Feedback page for other ways to get in touch.

Sample page from biodiversity baseline guide