Long-term solutions to address gaps in nature conservation and the protected areas agenda in Europe is the aim of the ‘Little Sydney’ meeting taking place at Donau-Auen National Park, Austria from 28 to 31 May. UNEP-WCMC will be there to demonstrate the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) and show off Protected Planet as the ‘one-stop shop’ for protected areas information.
Today is International Day for Biological Diversity and this year’s theme focuses attention on using biodiversity for sustainable development. This day of celebration coincides with the closing day of the Africa Rising: Mobilising Biodiversity Data for Sustainable Development, which aims to liberate policy-relevant biodiversity data and use it in sustainable development planning.
Under the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (UN-REDD Programme), UNEP-WCMC and UNDP have developed a ‘Benefits and Risks Tool’ (BeRT). The new tool will help REDD+ countries to address and respect the social and environmental safeguards set out by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Using biodiversity data to enable evidence-based decision-making and spur sustainable development in Africa is being explored at Africa Rising: Mobilising Biodiversity Data for Sustainable Development, taking place now in Cape Town, South Africa. Hosted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute, UNEP-WCMC is part of the organizing partnership.
World Migratory Bird Day 2015 will be celebrated on 9-10 May in over 80 countries with the theme "Energy - make it bird-friendly!" It will highlight the importance of deploying energy technologies in a way that minimizes impacts on migratory birds and their habitats.
An international team of palaeontologists and marine ecologists has revealed that studying marine organisms that died out over the past 23 million years can help identify which animals and marine ecosystems are at most risk of extinction today. Their study is published today in the journal Science.
An iconic building in the centre of Cambridge, UK, has been renamed the David Attenborough Building, in honour of Sir David’s pioneering work in bringing the wonders of our natural world to our screens. The building is the future home of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI), of which UNEP-WCMC is a partner.
The Fourth edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4), a periodic summary of the latest data on the status and trends of biodiversity, including an assessment of progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, has been translated into Portuguese. Jon Hutton, Director of UNEP-WCMC, and Matt Walpole, Director of Programmes at UNEP-WCMC, attended the launch of this translation at an event held at UN House in Brasilia, Brazil.
Humanity’s use of land for agricultural production has come at a cost to local ecosystems worldwide, but some of the damage can be reversed, according to a major collaborative research project from UNEP-WCMC the Natural History Museum, and British universities.
The National REDD+ Coordination (CN-REDD) of the Republic of Congo, together with the UN-REDD Programme, organized a launch workshop for a national study on the potential of REDD+, held 3-4 March 2015 in Brazzaville. On behalf of the UN-REDD Programme, UNEP-WCMC is providing technical support for the design and implementation of the study.
Within the framework of the PARCC West Africa GEF project, national workshops were held in The Gambia and Togo at the end of February and beginning of March to design systematic conservation planning systems for each of the project countries. The workshops were co-organised by IUCN PACO and UNEP-WCMC and led by Dr Bob Smith from DICE University of Kent.
Researchers say that the first study to attempt to gauge global visitation figures for protected areas reveals nature-based tourism has an economic value of hundreds of billions of dollars annually, and call for much greater investment in the conservation of protected areas in line with the values they sustain – both economically and ecologically.
UNEP-WCMC has been working closely with the UN-REDD National Joint Programme in Paraguay to develop maps which can be used as decision-support tools by the Paraguayan government when planning for REDD+.
Biodiversity, sustainable development and the law will be the focus of an expert seminar and international symposium taking place in Cambridge, 20-22 February 2015. Global environment leaders, academics and practitioners will share valuable insight on the past successes, current hurdles and potential future solutions to implementing international treaties on biodiversity. UNEP-WCMC are pleased to be involved in this exciting event.
UNEP-WCMC was among the 700 delegates from 270 governments, scientific organizations, civil society and the private sector who attended the Third Meeting of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) held 12-17 January in Bonn, Germany.
UNEP-WCMC, Dutch Butterfly Conservation, GEO BON and EU BON recently convened a butterfly monitoring workshop which has catalysed the process for the development of a Global Butterfly Indicator to track changes in butterfly populations.
To mark the end of another three years of the collaboration between UNEP and WCMC, the UK charity, which provides support to the United Nations Environment Programme in the specialist field of biodiversity, the Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner, established a senior Working Group from across UNEP to review the UNEP-WCMC’s performance and make recommendations for its future.
In 2010, the world’s governments committed to conserving 17% of land and 10% of sea by 2020, particularly those places of particular importance for nature. With five years to go to achieve this target, new research by 40 authors from 26 institutions, including UNEP-WCMC and led by BirdLife International, shows that the current Protected Areas system is still failing to cover all key sites, species and ecosystems.
UNEP-WCMC is pleased to announce the launch of an updated version of the Ocean Data Viewer (ODV). The site has been refreshed to provide a more streamlined, user-friendly tool for viewing and accessing spatial data and relevant information regarding policies and biodiversity.
A global relay of EcoHacks took place the weekend of 15-16 November in six cities across the world. UNEP-WCMC hosted the leg which took place in Cambridge, UK, where 20 people from software development, design, and science backgrounds came together to work on three hacks.
The world is on track to meet a 2020 target on the expansion of protected areas, but more work is needed to ensure areas of importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services are prioritized for protection under equitably managed conditions, according to a new UNEP report.
As the World Parks Congress gets underway in Sydney, Australia, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are ready to welcome visitors to the Protected Planet Pavilion.
On 15-16 November, UNEP-WCMC will be hosting the Cambridge leg of the latest edition of EcoHack. With events taking place in six locations over three continents, this EcoHack is set to the most exciting one yet.
This week, UNEP-WCMC will present its analysis of the 2014 national reports to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) at the 11th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CMS. For the first time, Parties to CMS submitted their national reports using a template made available on the Online Reporting System (ORS) developed by UNEP-WCMC.
UNEP-WCMC would like to announce the launch of the updated Biodiversity A-Z website. The site provides concise and authoritative information about biodiversity in an accessible and simple manner. The new website structure divides the information up into easy to browse biodiversity-related themes, including two new themes - Marine and Acronyms - and has a new and powerful search.
Large numbers of fish will disappear from the tropics by 2050, finds a new University of British Columbia study authored by Miranda Jones of UNEP-WCMC’s Marine Programme, which examined the impact of climate change on fish stocks. The study identified ocean hotspots for local fish extinction but also found that changing temperatures will drive more fish into the Arctic and Antarctic waters.
The Fourth Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-4) is the latest United Nations report on the state of biodiversity, and the first to consider progress in implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets adopted by Parties to the CBD in 2010.
Bold and innovative action is urgently required if governments are to meet the globally-agreed Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its Aichi Targets by 2020, says a United Nations progress report, to which UNEP-WCMC contributed, on the state of global biodiversity.
The latest instalment of the Aichi Targets Passport is available now to download as an app from iTunes and Google Play. As the flagship publication of the Biodiversity Indicators Partnership, the Aichi Targets Passport provides annual updates on the global biodiversity indicators that monitor progress towards the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the underlying Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
On 25-27 June, decision-makers and researchers from across the East African Great Lakes region met in Entebbe, Uganda to discuss what the future might hold in terms of development, agriculture and environmental change.
A new study published in Science today reveals that, despite some progress, more needs to be done to reach an internationally agreed set of biodiversity targets by 2020.
A study by an international team of scientists updates knowledge on the faunal richness of the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania and Kenya; presents the discovery of 27 new vertebrate species (of which 23 amphibians and reptiles).
A new UN-REDD report explores the potential value of REDD+ in three regions of Panama (Bocas del Toro, the Canal region and the Darién). Prepared by UNEP-WCMC under Panama’s UN-REDD National Programme, this economic analysis can help with deciding which land-use options can be most beneficial.
The new improved, interactive Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA) was launched this week at the 7th Annual Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference in Costa Rica and is now available online.
An international team of researchers has found that the majority of threatened species are ‘invisible’ when using modern methods to predict species distributions under climate change.
Species that live within a narrow range and have specialist habitat requirements are disproportionally affected by the conversion of land for human-dominated use. Using the PREDICTS model, scientists at UNEP-WCMC and the Natural History Museum, London are able to predict the consequences of land-use change on biodiversity.
A review by UNEP-WCMC of the relationship between biodiversity, carbon storage and the provision of other ecosystem services has identified broad agreement that forests, especially natural intact forests, provide a wide range of ecosystem services, and that biodiversity is important in supporting them.
For the first time, a composite map of the world’s ecosystem assets has been produced, covering both marine and terrestrial realms. A report for the UNEP Division of Early Warning and Assessment by UNEP-WCMC presents global maps of assets such as biodiversity, freshwater resources and soil quality.
Illegal wildlife trade will be discussed today at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in the largest Ministerial gathering to convene during this current poaching crisis.
A new UNEP-WCMC policy brief, Addressing climate change: Why biodiversity matters, highlights the importance of considering biodiversity within climate change policies, programmes and projects, and presents opportunities to realize synergies.
The First United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) will convene in Nairobi, Kenya, from 23 to 27 June 2014. UNEA is the newly constituted UN high-level platform for decision-making on the environment.
Better data, better decisions, and smarter, ‘greener’ economies were the focus of discussion at a meeting held in Pretoria, South Africa 27-29 May. It was run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Regional Office for Africa in collaboration with UNEP-WCMC.
Every year on World Environment Day the United Nations encourages global action for the environment. Across the world, people come together to combine their individual actions into a collective effort to make a positive contribution to the environment.
A new study co-authored by Neil Burgess, Head of Science at UNEP-WCMC has proved the scientific value of indigenous and local knowledge collected from community members using focus groups.
Today is International Day for Biological Diversity - a day for us to celebrate the diversity of life on earth. To mark the occasion, United Nations Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon introduces this year’s "Island Biodiversity" theme and urges us to protect fragile ecosystems.
The Animals and Plants Committees of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) met from 28 April to 8 May. Of the 91 recommendations made by UNEP-WCMC for species categorizations for the Review of Significant Trade, 87 were adopted.
This week, UNEP-WCMC will bring together conservation experts and 17 of the world’s largest extractives companies who are part of the successful Proteus Partnership.
World Migratory Bird Day 2014 – celebrated in over 70 countries on 10-11 May – focuses on the role sustainable tourism can play in conserving one of the world’s true natural wonders: the spectacular movements of migratory birds along their flyways.
In a paper released today, scientists at UNEP-WCMC and Microsoft Research describe the world’s first General Ecosystem Model that attempts to simulate all life on earth – both on land and in the ocean.
Access to the CITES Trade Database – which contains some 14 million records on the international trade in CITES-listed species – is now easier and more reliable, thanks to cutting-edge, open source technologies.
New study demonstrates that climate change disrupts natural relationships between species.
In our latest contribution to the Convention on Biological Diversity Technical Series, a team from UNEP-WCMC explores how remote sensing can and should fit into biodiversity monitoring systems.
There is an assumption that conserving biodiversity can help in efforts to tackle global poverty and enhance human well-being. A small team including two of our scientists, Max Fancourt and Chris Sandbrook took a look at the evidence base for this assumption.
A new report outlines how integrating REDD+ programmes into a Green Economy approach can conserve and even boost the economic and social benefits forests provide to human society.
We will be presenting our work on modelling to assess the impacts of land use change at the upcoming 2nd Global Land Project Open Science Meeting in Berlin, Germany from 19 to 21 March.
Today we’re celebrating the first annual World Wildlife Day. Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as an occasion to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora, the date was chosen to coincide with the day that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was first adopted.
UNEP-WCMC’s Director, Jon Hutton, attended the 2014 World Economic Forum meeting in Davos at the end of January. In an interview with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, Jon reflects on his impression of the meeting and why the conservation community should be involved.
A commitment has been made by representatives of over 40 nations and 11 intergovernmental organizations to end the illegal trade in wildlife following a two day conference in London, UK.
The first comprehensive overview of the world's largest terrestrial pool of carbon highlights the importance of soil carbon conservation in mitigating global climate change.
The latest issue of the Protected Areas Resilient to Climate Change in West Africa (PARCC) Project is available now in both English and French.