The Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation and Environment released a report Friday intended to help measure the city’s biodiversity.
The 2020 Los Angeles Biodiversity Report presents the framework of the “L.A. City Biodiversity Index,” which will be used to show urban habitat quality and connectivity, LASAN officials said. The report also includes a number of case studies as models for biodiversity stewardship in Los Angeles.
“At LASAN, biodiversity has come to mean something very essential, said Bureau Director and General Manager Enrique Zaldivar. “Biodiversity is one of the highest indicators of environmental quality. If you have equitable distribution of biodiversity and healthy ecosystems across the city, then it is a sign that infrastructure is well-integrated with built, natural and social systems.”
According to the report, the L.A. City Biodiversity Index will be measured every three years, with major milestone measurements at 10-year intervals, and LASAN’s Biodiversity Team will perform index measurements with assistance from an expert council.
LASAN officials said although California has long been a global leader in managing threatened and endangered species, Los Angeles only recently embarked on a more comprehensive approach to biodiversity.
In 2017, the City Council adopted a motion introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz that directed LASAN to develop a customized biodiversity index.
“The creation of this groundbreaking L.A. City Biodiversity Index is the next important step toward the comprehensive, holistic wildlife and habitat protection vision my staff and I have been working towards,” Koretz said.
“With this biodiversity index, we can bring them together through evidenced-based science to create policies that emphasize and encourage the interconnectedness of healthy ecosystems and healthy people across L.A. as we move forward into an uncertain climate-changed future.”
The city’s goal is to minimize biodiversity loss, and the report complements the Los Angeles 2015 Sustainable City pLAn — part of the city’s Green New Deal — and it will use biodiversity measurements included in the City Planning Department’s General Plan, LASAN officials stated.
The 2020 Biodiversity Report updates the action items and concepts identified in the 2018 report, which used the Singapore Index tool for cities to evaluate and monitor the progress of their biodiversity, to create recommendations for a customized index, LASAN officials stated.
The full report can be found at www.lacitysan.org/cs/groups/public/documents/document/y250/mduy/~edisp/cnt052553.pdf.