The ILD was developed not only in order to document these trends, but also to call attention to the importance of maintaining linguistic diversity for the conservation of biological diversity. Earlier work that Harmon and Loh carried out for Terralingua (2001-2005) had led to the development of an initial Index of Biocultural Diversity (IBCD), which suggested parallels and connections between the state of the world’s linguistic diversity and the state of the world’s biological diversity. (See downloads at the end of this page.)
The ILD has been chosen as one of the indicators relevant to Target 18 of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) “Aichi Biodiversity Targets 2010-2020″, an international initiative aiming to counter the global loss of biodiversity. Aichi Target 18 recognizes the relevance of traditional knowledge (and of the languages in which traditional knowledge is encoded) for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The ILD is featured on the site of the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP), which promotes and coordinates the development and delivery of biodiversity indicators in support of the CBD.