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
“If we are to make our future on this planet sustainable, a strong science-policy interface is critical. It is here that UNEP-WCMC is vital.”
UNEP Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary-General
Assuming no radical transformation in human behavior, we can expect important changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services by 2050. A considerable number of species extinctions will have taken place. Existing large blocks of tropical forest will be much reduced and fragmented, but temperate forests and some tropical forests will be stable or increasing in area, although the latter will be biotically impoverished. Marine ecosystems will be very different from today's, with few large marine predators, and freshwater biodiversity will be severely reduced almost everywhere. These changes will not, in themselves, threaten the survival of humans as a species.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Sustainability requires living within the regenerative capacity of the biosphere. In an attempt to measure the extent to which humanity satisfies this requirement, we use existing data to translate human demand on the environment into the area required for the production of food and other goods, together with the absorption of wastes. Our accounts indicate that human demand may well have exceeded the biosphere's regenerative capacity since the 1980s. According to this preliminary and exploratory assessment, humanity's load corresponded to 70% of the capacity of the global biosphere in 1961, and grew to 120% in 1999.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Arctic Flora and Fauna: Status and Conservation is the first truly circumpolar overview of Arctic biodiversity written for the nonspecialist. It provides the reader with a clear understanding of the importance of the Earth's largest ecoregion and its status in the face of a rapidly changing world.Resource Type: Reports
An international team of research scientists has created a peer-reviewed website, http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/, which tracks multiple changes in the Arctic environment (Fig. 1). While the 2007 loss of summertime sea ice is the most dramatic example, changes are also seen in the atmosphere, on land and in the ocean, and as shifts in location and abundance of Arctic species.Resource Type: Reports
The Checklist of CITES species is produced by UNEP-WCMC following each meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES, taking into account all changes agreed by the Parties.
The 2011 Checklist of CITES species, containing updates from CoP15, is the latest edition of this document.
This edition has been restructured, and now comprises:
Part 1: CITES Species Index (previously called the Checklist of CITES Species):
Part 2: History of CITES Listings (previously called the Annotated Appendices and Reservations):
The 2011 Checklist can be accessed here.Resource Type: Reports
In 2008 UNEP-WCMC produced a report with a consortium of Chinese and international partners on research needs for reducing poverty through better ecosystem management in China. This work was for DFID, NERC and ESRC of the UK government, as a contribution to their design of a proposed international research programme on ecosystem services for poverty alleviation (www.nerc.ac.uk/research/programmes/espa/) The China ESPA report identified that China’s great progress in poverty reduction has slowed, as the remaining poor tend to be found in environments of low productivity or high risk of ecosystem degradation, such as mountains, grasslands and deserts. The government of China is investing heavily in poverty reduction and environmental management, with opportunities for improving the synergies between these activities. Research needs include better understanding of ecosystem functioning for multiple services, and development of methods to analyse policies and projects for both poverty reduction and supply of ecosystem services.Resource Type: Reports
Our analyses show significant differences between predictions from different models, with predicted changes in range size by 2030 differing in both magnitude and direction (e.g. from 92 loss to 322 gain). We explain differences with reference to two characteristics of the modelling techniques: data input requirements (presence/absence vs. presence-only approaches) and assumptions made by each algorithm when extrapolating beyond the range of data used to build the model. The effects of these factors should be carefully considered when using this modelling approach to predict species ranges. Main conclusions We highlight an important source of uncertainty in assessments of the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and emphasize that model predictions should be interpreted in policy-guiding applications along with a full appreciation of uncertainty.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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