Agricultural lands are essential for providing food and forage for maintaining a healthy environment. Growing human populations are placing increasing demands for new lands for agricultural production. At the same time, there is a need to maintain or increase our forest cover for biodiversity and carbon sequestration. Unfortunately, our land base is limited. Consequently, there is strong competition between those lands will be used for forestry and those that will be used for agriculture. Current assessments of agriculture and forested lands are often carried out by separate entities. Often, there is duplication of data collection, information gaps, etc. The bottom line is that we do not really know how much land currently serves the needs of agriculture and forestry, which lands are best suited for conversion to alternate use, and where they are located. In order for decision makers to make more informed decisions, we need complete and up-to-date geo-referenced inventories. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the problems of separate resource inventories and to present ways to overcome these problems by integrated assessments.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 was adopted at the 10th Conference of the Parties in Nagoya, Japan. The plan outlines 20 Aichi Targets to achieve global biodiversity conservation. A fundamental global approach to biodiversity conservation is the use of protected areas. Arguably all 20 Aichi Targets have implications for the establishment and management of protected areas, but only Target 11 addresses them directly. This paper carries out a clause by clause analysis of Target 11 and makes recommendations to countries on interpreting each clause in order to best achieve biodiversity conservation using protected areas. Despite containing only 61 words, Target 11 is surprisingly dense. It applies to both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and sets goals for spatial planning (representativeness, ecological connectivity and areas of importance for biodiversity); protected areas management (including management effectiveness and social equity); and criteria about what counts toward being a protected area under Target 11. The authors argue for a holistic interpretation of Target 11 as a way for the global community to use protected areas to change the current unacceptable trends in global biodiversity loss.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Stipitate hydnoid ('tooth') fungi are considered to be threatened throughout much of central and northern Europe. In response to concern about the status of these fungi in the UK, a Biodiversity Action Plan has been developed for 14 species in this group. As a first step towards implementation of this plan, a number of surveys have been initiated, to determine the current status and distribution of hydnoid fungi. An overview of the results of these surveys is described. A series of distribution maps are presented, based on a compilation of early records and the results of a recent field survey in Scottish coniferous forests. The difficulties of interpreting early records are discussed, with particular reference to the taxonomie confusion that has surrounded this group of fungi. Although available data provide little evidence for decline of hydnoid fungi, a number of species display very restricted distributions within Scotland. The recent discovery of several species new to Britain emphasises the need for further field surveys to define the current status of these fungi with greater accuracy.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Recent analyses confirm that urgent attempts to catalogue the distribution of biological diversity may be facilitated by focusing at the level of genera or families rather than species. However, questions remain over the application of higher-taxon surveys to identify networks of priority areas for conservation action. Is the close spatial match between species and higher-taxon richness at global and regional scales reiterated when sites are locally distributed? How much money is saved by the higher-taxon approach? And how does using genus or family information affect the efficiency with which spatial priorities for conservation are identified? We examined these issues using data on the diversity of woody plants in Sri Lankan forests.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Eurynorhynchus pygmeus is classed as globally Vulnerable, based on the only available population estimate, made in 1977, of 2,000-2,800 pairs. Surveys for breeding Spoon-billed Sandpipers were carried out in summer 2000 on the Anadyr estuary coast, the Chukotka autonomous region, Russia. Although six new breeding sites were found, only 16-17 breeding males/pairs were recorded on the northern coast of the Anadyr estuary and five males/pairs on the southern coast and more southerly lagoons. These numbers were much lower than expected, and the species was not recorded in several apparently suitable areas.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
Protected areas are one of the cornerstones for conserving the world's remaining biodiversity, most of which occurs in tropical forests. We use multiple sources of satellite data to estimate the extent of forest habitat and loss over the last 20 years within and surrounding 198 of the most highly protected areas (IUCN status 1 and 2) located throughout the world's tropical forests. In the early 1980s, surrounding habitat in the 50-km unprotected or less highly protected 'buffers' enhanced the protected areas' effective size and their capacity to conserve richness of forest-obligate species above the hypothetical case of complete isolation. However, in nearly 70 of the surrounding buffers, the area of forest habitat declined during the last 20 years, while 25 experienced declines within their administrative boundaries.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Reports of rapid growth in nature-based tourism and recreation add significant weight to the economic case for biodiversity conservation but seem to contradict widely voiced concerns that people are becoming increasingly isolated from nature. This apparent paradox has been highlighted by a recent study showing that on a per capita basis, visits to natural areas in the United States and Japan have declined over the last two decades. These results have been cited as evidence of "a fundamental and pervasive shift away from nature-based recreation"-but how widespread is this phenomenon? We address this question by looking at temporal trends in visitor numbers at 280 protected areas (PAs) from 20 countries.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The potential for web-based GIS analyses of monitoring data is discussed. Once tested for the Arctic region the same can be applied to other major flyways systems and regions, such as the African-Eurasian region, identified for waterbirds. The most obvious challenge lies in the analysis of biodiversity trend data, both in itself and in relation to factors such as climate change. The Arctic region and its biota seem certain to experience pronounced changes in climate in the coming years and the proposed GIS based portal could provide the integration of essential data sets and allow analysis of the relative importance of different parameters.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This study presents a global analysis of forest cover and forest protection. An updated Global Forest Map (using MODIS2005) provided a current assessment of forest cover within 20 natural forest types. This map was overlaid onto WWF realms and ecoregions to gain additional biogeographic information on forest distribution. Using the 2008 World Database on Protected Areas, percentage forest cover protection was calculated globally, within forest types, realms and ecoregions, and within selected areas of global conservation importance.
Results have policy relevance in terms of the target of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), reconfirmed in 2008, to effectively conserve “at least 10% of each of the world’s forest types”. Regular updates of these analyses would allow progress towards achieving that target to be monitored.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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