Seagrasses are unique as they are the only marine flowering plants. Seagrass beds form complex physical structures and are a highly productive ecosystem. This enables them to support a considerable biomass and diversity of associated species. For the first time the World Atlas of Seagrasses summarises the opinion and science of the world's leading experts on the global status of the ecosystem.
The Atlas is a collaboration of more than 50 authors from 25 nations. Fully illustrated, the Atlas contains the first global and regional maps of seagrass distribution and a wealth of information on key issues concerning this 'forgotten' ecosystem.Resource Type: Books
Datasets Available from UNEP-WCMC: Excluding WDPA
Access to UNEP-WCMC datasets is provided on the understanding that you read and consent to be bound by the Terms and Conditions attached. For the purposes of this Agreement the “Data” comprise any of the spatial data and associated attribute data downloadable from the UNEP-WCMC website, excluding the World Database on Protected Areas.
The seagrass dataset has been compiled by UNEP-WCMC in collaboration with Dr Frederick T. Short, University of New Hampshire, USA to show the global distribution of seagrass species. This dataset has been created from multiple sources and was used in the creation of the "World Atlas of Seagrasses" (2003). This polygon feature dataset is an update of the data used in the Atlas and is a unique data holding about the state of the world's seagrasses. For a complete overview of global seagrass distribution this dataset should be displayed together with the associated point dataset.
This summary report aims to provide the European Commission with an overview of the likely impact of climate change on biodiversity in the European Union and indications as to how the design and implementation of current policy might need to be adapted in order to ensure that the EU respects its commitment to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010 and beyond.Resource Type: Reports
In 2008, the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted scientific criteria for identifying ecologically or biologically significant marine areas in need of protection on the open oceans and deep seas.
While much scientific discovery lies ahead, available information and current and emerging methodologies already allow us to begin identifying oceanic features that are likely of particular ecological or biological importance.
Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs) are managed areas that are voluntarily conserved by local or indigenous communities for conservation and cultural purposes. This handbook is intended as a guide for those who wish to learn about ICCAs and the newly developed ICCA Registry tool, which aims to develop awareness, recognition and documented values of ICCAs through a community-supported database, maps and an interactive, multimedia website. Communities who govern and manage ICCAs will find this handbook particularly helpful to understand how they can contribute to and benefit from the Registry if they wish. This handbook adheres to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and supports the application of bio-cultural community protocols in maintaining the integrity of community knowledge and resources.Resource Type: Reports
The report, the fifth in UNEP's 'rapid response assessment' series, looks beyond forests and the REDD debates to the potential of natural and agricultural ecosystems to capture and store carbon. It examines the potential for gaining multiple benefits for livelihoods and ecosystem services through managing ecosystem carbon and considers the implications for policy.Resource Type: Reports
The Last Stand of the Orangutan was prepared by a Rapid Response Team at UNEP/GRID-Arendal and UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre as a broad collaborative effort, involving contributors from the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia, and partners of the Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP).Resource Type: Reports
The areas of the ocean that lie beyond national jurisdiction limits, also called the high seas, are vulnerable to human activities and currently underrepresented when compared to terrestrial and nearshore1 marine environments under protection. Thus, there is a growing movement among the conservation community to increase measures, such as marine protected areas, that can ensure protection of the largely undiscovered but important biodiversity of the high seas.Resource Type: Reports
This report reviews the current state of knowledge on the biodiversity impacts (both positive and negative) of biofuel production, with an emphasis on the potential influence of current and future government policies. Although the focus is primarily on first generation biofuels, second and third generation biofuels are also discussed. The potential for sustainability criteria to ameliorate biodiversity impacts is also assessed.Resource Type: Reports
This report is a contribution to the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity and is a complement to the UNEP-hosted Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) which is bringing visibility to the wealth of the world’s natural capital. It documents over 30 successful case studies referencing thousands of restoration projects ranging from deserts and rainforests to rivers and coasts. The report confirms that restoration is not only possible but can prove highly proftable in terms of public savings; returns and the broad objectives of overcoming poverty and achieving sustainability. It also provides important recommendations on how to avoid pitfalls and how to minimize risks to ensure successful restoration.Resource Type: Reports
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