Since the late 1970s the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has delivered services that support implementation of international biodiversity-related agreements at global, regional and national levels. These services not only support the work of the agreement secretariats, but also of the advisory and governance bodies, and of governments party to the various agreements. The aim of this paper is to illustrate this work through examples of work we have undertaken.
The support that UNEP-WCMC provides is based on expert understanding of the agreements and how they work, resulting from many years of experience and close relationships with secretariats.Resource Type: Reports
Hotspot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas (HERMES) was one of the 40 most successful projects under the EU's 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. Following completion of the project in March 2009, The HERMES Story is published jointly by HERMES and UNEP to inform policy and decision makers from around the world about the lessons learned and the amazing new insights into deep-sea biodiversity, structure, function and dynamics discovered under HERMES. The HERMES Story highlights the need for concerted action to protect the deep sea against the increasing pressures, threats and impacts from human activities and climate change, and provides inspiration for the development of similar deep-sea research projects in other regions.Resource Type: Reports
The Great Apes, including the chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan, are threatened with extinction. All species are rapidly declining in abundance, even within protected areas.The main factors responsible for this decline are loss and degradation of habitat, and hunting. Construction of roads in forest areas is particularly damaging, as such development facilitates hunting and other activities which lead to habitat destruction.
This report assesses the impact of infrastructural development on great ape populations, using the GLOBIO modelling approach. GLOBIO is a multivariable spatial model, which estimates the extent of land area with reduced abundance and diversity of living organisms, as a result of infrastructural development. The model can also be used to develop scenarios of possible future impacts, based on the current rates of infrastructural development.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 ability of coral reefs to survive in a globally-warming world may crucially depend on the levels of pollution to which they are exposed, new findings indicate.
Scientists studying reefs that were bleached in the late 1990s by high surface sea temperatures have found a link between recovery rates and the levels of contamination entering coastal waters from developments on the land.Resource Type: Reports
The deep sea is the oldest and largest biome on Earth, yet we have little knowledge of the ecosystems and processes in these dark, hidden depths. Only in the last two decades have new technologies enabled scientists to start exploring this last frontier – and their discoveries are fascinating but alarming: the deep sea is teeming with life but is already showing clear signs of anthropogenic impacts despite its remoteness. Many vulnerable deep-sea habitats and communities are being destroyed by fishing and are under threat from increasing exploitation of their mineral and living resources.Resource Type: Reports
This report presents a synthesis and integration of the findings concerning biodiversity contained in the reports of the four Millennium Assessment Working Groups (Condition and Trends, Scenarios, Responses, and Sub-global Assessments).Resource Type: Reports
This briefing considers the implications for biodiversity conservation and local people’s livelihoods of the current discussion on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (RED-DC, henceforth RED) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The potential for RED to deliver multiple benefits for biodiversity conservation, livelihoods and other ecosystem services is well documented (UNEP-WCMC 2007). But it is important to note that RED could also have negative impacts on biodiversity and local livelihoods, for example as a result of the displacement of deforestation.Resource Type: Reports
Over recent decades, biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction have both become international societal and political goals. There is recognition of the links between these two goals both within the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Millennium Development Goals. However, the causal relationships are not so simple either that one can say poverty causes biodiversity loss, or improvements in biodiversity reduce poverty. This suggests a need to be more specific in defining what types of poverty and biodiversity issues are being assessed.
Two “state of knowledge” reviews were commissioned to explore the evidence base for two common assumptions about the link between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction: 1) that the poor depend on biodiversity; and 2) that biodiversity conservation can be a mechanism for poverty reduction. These attempt to tease apart the issues of what type of poverty and what type of biodiversity are being assessed.Resource Type: Reports
Deforestation and degradation account for around 20% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, widely believed to drive climate change. Growing concerns about the impacts of climate change have fuelled international interest in developing mechanisms to slow deforestation and degradation rates, such as the ‘Reduce Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation’ (REDD) Programme. Its potential contribution to rural poverty reduction could be immense, but REDD mechanisms may also entail new risks. This paper presents a framework for understanding the linkages between REDD and poverty, and conducts an initial analysis of the poverty implications of REDD.Resource Type: Reports
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