United Voices. Regenerative Change.

Bioregional Approach to Human and Ecological Flourishing:
Key Performance Indicators for a Sustainable Future


As our world faces unprecedented challenges, it is crucial to recognize the interconnectedness of human and ecological systems. Embracing a bioregional perspective allows us to understand and work within the unique ecological and cultural characteristics of specific regions, fostering sustainable development and resilience in harmony with the environment. In this context, we must identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that guide our progress towards a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all.

Here, we present a set of KPIs for human and ecological flourishing, tailored to reflect the importance of a bioregional approach. These KPIs emphasize the need for local knowledge, adaptability, and inclusivity in decision-making processes, ensuring that the well-being of both people and ecosystems is central to development initiatives. By integrating these KPIs into our planning, we can better address the diverse needs of communities while preserving the natural resources upon which we all depend.

Join us as we explore these bioregion-based KPIs and discuss how they can be implemented in various sectors to promote a thriving and resilient future grounded in local contexts.

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What are Bioregions and Ecoregions?

Bioregions are geographical areas defined by their unique ecological, cultural, and social characteristics, including climate, topography, watersheds, flora and fauna, as well as human communities and their traditions. A bioregion-based approach to human and ecological flourishing acknowledges the interconnectedness of these elements and recognizes that sustainable development must be grounded in the context of each region's distinct features and needs.

The importance of a bioregion-based approach to KPIs for human and ecological flourishing lies in its emphasis on fostering resilience, adaptability, and harmony between people and the environment. By tailoring KPIs to the specific characteristics of each bioregion, we can better address diverse needs and challenges while preserving and enhancing the natural resources upon which communities depend.

This approach represents a departure from current de facto systems, which often prioritize short-term economic gains and one-size-fits-all solutions that neglect the intricate relationships between people, culture, and ecology. These conventional systems have resulted in environmental degradation, social inequities, and reduced resilience in the face of global challenges such as climate change.

By embracing a bioregion-based approach to KPIs for human and ecological flourishing, we can shift away from unsustainable practices and work towards a future that respects the intrinsic value of all life forms and ecosystems. This approach promotes community engagement, local knowledge, and equitable decision-making, ultimately empowering communities to create a more just, resilient, and thriving world for all.

Reference map by One Earth
To see an active regional map visit: https://www.oneearth.org/navigator/

If Nature were to draw a map of the world what would it look like? We’ve grown accustomed to seeing the world divided into countries, but there is another way to see, and better understand, the planet we call home. One Earth presents a novel biogeographical framework called Bioregions 2020, which builds upon 844 terrestrial ecoregion divisions (Dinerstein et al. 2017) to delineate 185 discrete bioregions organized within the world's major biogeographical realms.

Source: One Earth - Bioregions 2020

KPIs for Human Flourishing within Bioregions:

  1. Life expectancy and health equity: : Average life expectancy, considering disparities among different populations within the bioregion and addressing region-specific health challenges.
  2. Bioregionally-relevant education: Access to quality education that incorporates local ecological, cultural, and social knowledge, promoting environmental stewardship and community engagement.
  3. Equitable income and wealth distribution: Median income and wealth distribution measures within bioregions, focusing on reducing disparities and supporting local economic development.
  4. Bioregion-based healthcare access: Access to healthcare services tailored to the specific needs and resources of the bioregion, emphasizing preventative care and addressing health disparities.
  5. Mental well-being and bioregional support systems: Mental health support and resources that consider the unique stressors and needs of communities within the bioregion.
  6. Social connections and bioregional inclusivity: Quality social relationships, community involvement, and social support systems that promote inclusivity and resilience within the bioregion.
  7. Safety, security, and justice within bioregions: Equitable justice systems and policies that are responsive to bioregional contexts, focusing on reducing crime, violence, and enhancing community safety.
  8. Political freedom, participation, and bioregional representation: Governance structures that ensure fair representation and encourage civic participation within the bioregion.
  9. Bioregional employment and job satisfaction: Access to meaningful work that supports the sustainable development of the bioregion, with a focus on local opportunities and job satisfaction.
  10. Happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being within bioregions: Promoting overall well-being by addressing disparities among different populations and fostering a strong sense of community within the bioregion.

KPIs for Ecological Flourishing within Bioregions:

  1. Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation: Conservation strategies that address the variety and abundance of species, wildlife, ecosystems, and genetic diversity unique to the bioregion.
  2. Bioregional Ecosystem Health and Resilience: Maintaining the stability, resilience, and functioning of ecosystems within the bioregion to ensure the provision of ecosystem services for the common good.
  3. Soil quality and sustainable agriculture within bioregions: Preserving soil health, preventing erosion, and supporting sustainable agriculture practices that consider the bioregion's unique characteristics.
  4. Water quality, availability, and equitable access within bioregions: Ensuring access to clean water for all, addressing water pollution, and implementing sustainable water resource management practices within the bioregion.
  5. Air quality and pollution reduction within bioregions: Monitoring and reducing air pollution within the bioregion, promoting clean air resources and equitable distribution of environmental benefits.
  6. Climate change mitigation and adaptation within bioregions: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fostering renewable energy adoption, and supporting communities disproportionately affected by climate change within the bioregion.
  7. Waste management, reduction, and equitable distribution within bioregions: Implementing waste reduction strategies, promoting recycling, and addressing the impact of waste on marginalized communities within the bioregion.
  8. Sustainable land use and habitat preservation: Land use policies that promote sustainable development, habitat preservation, and community stewardship within the bioregion.
  9. Resource use, efficiency, and circular economy within bioregions: Consumption of natural resources, material footprint, and efforts towards a circular economy that benefits all communities.
  10. Conservation, restoration, and community involvement: Success of species recovery plans, habitat restoration projects, and investments in conservation, with a focus on engaging and supporting all stakeholders.

As we work together to create a sustainable, equitable, and resilient future, it's crucial that we embrace a bioregional approach to our development initiatives. This perspective empowers us to make informed decisions that consider the unique ecological, cultural, and social characteristics of specific regions, fostering a harmonious relationship between people and the environment.

We invite you to join us on this journey towards a thriving world by adopting and implementing these bioregion-based KPIs in your community, organization, and institutions. Engage with local stakeholders, policymakers, and community members to assess your progress and identify areas where improvements can be made. Share your successes, challenges, and lessons learned, fostering collaboration and exchange of knowledge.

Together, we can create a future where human and ecological flourishing go hand in hand, grounded in the wisdom of our bioregions. It's time to take action and embrace the transformative power of bioregionalism.

Let's work collectively to ensure a sustainable and equitable world for generations to come.

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