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
This synthesis focuses on estimates of biodiversity change as projected for the 21st century by models or extrapolations based on experiments and observed trends. The term “biodiversity” is used in a broad sense as it is defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity to mean the abundance and distributions of and interactions between genotypes, species, communities, ecosystems and biomes. This synthesis pays particular attention to the interactions between biodiversity and ecosystem services and to critical “tipping points” that could lead to large, rapid and potentially irreversible changes. Comparisons between models are used to estimate the range of projections and to identify sources of uncertainty. Experiments and observed trends are used to check the plausibility of these projections. In addition we have identified possible actions at the local, national and international levels that can be taken to conserve biodiversity. We have called on a wide range of scientists to participate in this synthesis, with the objective to provide decision makers with messages that reflect the consensus of the scientific community and that will aid in the development of policy and management strategies that are ambitious, forward looking and proactive.Resource Type: Reports
This Manual makes the methods of the MA and associated sub-global (local and regional) assessments widely accessible. While the MA is the most comprehensive assessment of ecosystems carried out to date, there are other related assessment processes such as Global Environment Outlook (GEO), Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA), International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) and World Water Assessment. Lessons learned from these assessments supplement the best practice of ecosystem assessment identified through the MA. The publication of this Manual aims to encourage more assessments at scales which are relevant to policy and decision makers.
With biodiversity still in rapid decline, effective and policy relevant indicators are urgently needed. The current indicator framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is widely influential and includes many good measures. However, each of the CBD indicators presently exists in isolation. It is not clear how they relate to each other, nor how they can be used to assess and inform policies for stemming biodiversity loss.
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
Although Asian bamboo species constitute a non-timber forest product of major cultural and economic importance, no detailed regional assessment of their distribution patterns has previously been made. To assess the potential of the existing bamboo species distribution data for production of regional mapping tools for planning the conservation of forest-based biodiversity, data on bamboo distribution and forest cover were combined. Over 1000 bamboo species from 60 genera of woody bamboos were incorporated, allowing the mapping of individual species or groups of species and genera, along with potential species richness and biodiversity hotspots. Over 6.3 million km2 of Asian forest potentially contains bamboo, with highest densities indicated from northeastern India through Burma to southern China, and through Sumatra to Borneo. The highest figures for potential species richness (144 spp per square km) were recorded in forests of south China, including Hainan Island. Despite substantial inadequacies and inconsistencies in knowledge of the taxonomy and distribution of bamboo species, this approach may provide a valuable tool for planning in situ conservation of forest biodiversity.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This study makes use of extensive spatial datasets, previously unavailable, to provide a comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of biodiversity throughout the tropics. The extent to which potential habitats and closed moist forests are represented in protected areas is assessed. Priorities for conservation action are identified on the basis of a country's relative importance for a given habitat and the extent to which it is protected. National importance for biodiversity is also examined in relation to natural and foreign investments in protected areas.Resource Type: Reports
This paper reviews the potential for multiple benefits that might be attained by reducing emissions from deforestation (RED) through a mechanism developed under the UNFCCC. These benefits are relevant to national commitments under several environmental and sustainable development conventions and instruments, and may not be directly correlated with reduced carbon emissions. The design of the mechanism and its implementation will affect the degree to which these other benefits, such as biodiversity conservation, livelihoods, watershed protection and other ecosystem goods and services, are obtained.Resource Type: Reports
This paper provides an overview of the issues surrounding and opportunities for achieving ‘multiple benefits’ from Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD). The UN‐REDD Programme understands the term ‘multiple benefits’ to include both the ecosystem and social benefits of REDD.
It is an output of the International Support Functions component of the UN‐REDD Programme, relating specifically to the development of output 3.2: ‘Tools to encourage the capture of ecosystem service co‐benefits developed’,focussing on the ecosystem aspects of multiple benefits.Resource Type: Reports
This publication provides a concise account of the available information and current issues facing mangroves in East African countries. It comprises a regional summary of the factors and activities that affect mangroves across East Africa, and a series of reports that focus on South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania, the Seychelles, Kenya and Somalia. These country summaries include details of mangrove-related legislation, industries associated with and involving mangroves, and details of how mangroves are utilized by local human communities. Information on marine protected areas that cover mangroves is also provided as are regional and national scale maps.Resource Type: Reports
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