The continued growth of human populations and of per capita consumption have resulted in unsustainable exploitation of Earth’s biological diversity, exacerbated by climate change, ocean acidification, and other anthropogenic environmental impacts. We argue that effective conservation of biodiversity is essential for human survival and the maintenance of ecosystem processes. Despite some conservation successes (especially at local scales) and increasing public and government interest in living sustainably, biodiversity continues to decline. Moving beyond 2010, successful conservation approaches need to be reinforced and adequately financed. In addition, however, more radical changes are required that recognize biodiversity as a global public good, that integrate biodiversity conservation into policies and decision frameworks for resource production and consumption, and that focus on wider institutional and societal changes to enable more effective implementation of policy.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Deforestation is a main driver of climate change and biodiversity loss. An incentive mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Here we use the best available global data sets on terrestrial biodiversity and carbon storage to map and investigate potential synergies between carbon and biodiversity-oriented conservation.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The establishment of the UN-REDD Programme in Tanzania illustrates real-world challenges in a developing country. These challenges are being addressed by combined donor support to implement a national forest inventory, remote sensing of forest cover, enhanced capacity for measuring, reporting and verification, and pilot projects to test REDD+ implementation linked to the existing Participatory Forest Management Programme.
Our conclusion is that even in a country with considerable donor support, progressive forest policies, laws and regulations, an extensive network of managed forests and increasingly developed locally-based forest management approaches, implementing REDD+ presents many challenges. These are being met by coordinated, genuine partnerships between government, non-government and community-based agencies.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Biologists view Protected Areas (PAs) as natural areas established and managed primarily for the conservation of nature. However, many early Pas were established for aesthetic or socio-economic reasons and received little scientific input to their design. More recently, scientists have identified gaps in PA networks and various contemporary PAs have been established to provide for habitats and species in need of protection.
Scientists have also modelled minimum areas and population sizes that should be protected to prevent extinctions arising from demographic or chance causes. However, these theoretical ideals are difficult to put into practice, particularly as PAs increasingly face more immediate external threats. If scientists are to influence future PA design, and if PAs are to succeed in the long term, these concepts must be applied in practice. Therefore, sufficient protection must be integrated with human needs and aspirations in the design of future protected areas.
This brief note suggests that Laurance and Venter’s proposal to replace developing countries’ role in the process of monitoring forest carbon stocks for the REDD programme may not be in the long-term interests of promoting reduced emissions from forests in developing countries.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is currently discussing the development of a mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (RED). An effective RED mechanism could provide an unprecedented opportunity to contribute towards the goals of a range of multilateral environmental agreements and mechanisms, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), by helping to ensure that forests continue to provide vital ecosystem services, conserve biodiversity, and enhance livelihoods. The design and implementation of the mechanism will affect the degree to which these other benefits are obtained.Resource Type: Journal Papers
We explore the implications of REDD design and implementation options on biodiversity conservation and ways to link REDD with biodiversity conservation. From both a mitigation and biodiversity perspective, the most important immediate steps are to ensure that REDD is included in the new global climate agreement and maximizes the area of tropical forest conserved. It may also be possible to include guidelines or incentives within a REDD framework or in national implementation to channel funding to areas of high biodiversity. However, if the immediate steps above are not taken first, REDD will reach neither its mitigation nor its biodiversity conservation potential.Resource Type: Journal Papers
An assessment of impacts on Arctic terrestrial ecosystems has emphasized geographical variability in responses of species and ecosystems to environmental change. This variability is usually associated with north-south gradients in climate, biodiversity, vegetation zones, and ecosystem structure and function. It is clear, however, that significant east-west variability in environment, ecosystem structure and function, environmental history, and recent climate variability is also important.Some areas have cooled while others have become warmer.
Overall, the subregional synthesis demonstrates the difficulty of generalizing projections of responses of ecosystem structure and function, species loss, and biospheric feedbacks to the climate system for the whole Arctic region and implies a need for a far greater understanding of the spatial variability in the responses of terrestrial arctic ecosystems to climate change.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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