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
Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse of shallow water marine ecosystems but are being degraded worldwide by human activities and climate warming. Analyses of the geographic ranges of 3235 species of reef fish, corals, snails, and lobsters revealed that between 7.2 and 53.6 of each taxon have highly restricted ranges, rendering them vulnerable to extinction. Restricted-range species are clustered into centers of endemism, like those described for terrestrial taxa. The 10 richest centers of endemism cover 15.8 of the world's coral reefs (0.012 of the oceans) but include between 44.8 and 54.2 of the restricted-range species. Many occur in regions where reefs are being severely affected by people, potentially leading to numerous extinctions. Threatened centers of endemism are major biodiversity hotspots, and conservation efforts targeted toward them could help avert the loss of tropical reef biodiversity.Resource Type: Journal Papers
South East Asia contains nearly 100,000 km2 of coral reefs, almost 34% of the world total. With over 600 of the almost 800 reef-building coral species, these reefs have the highest levels of marine biodiversity on earth. Heavy reliance on marine resources across South East Asia has resulted in the overexploitation and degradation of many coral reefs. An estimated 88% of them are threatened by human activity.Resource Type: Reports
Coral reefs are an integral part of the Caribbean fabric, threading along thousands of kilometres of coastline. Unfortunately, these valuable ecosystems are degrading rapidly under the mounting pressure of many human activities. Understanding the nature and extent of these threats and their likely economic impacts on the future productivity of Caribbean coral reefs is of central importance to conservation and planning efforts.
The Reefs at Risk in the Carribean project was launched to help protect and restore these valuable, threatened ecosystems by providing decision-makers and the public with information and tools to manage coastal habitats more effectively.
Governments are often accused of responding only to short-term and parochial considerations. It is therefore remarkable that representatives of 190 countries recently committed themselves at the Convention on Biological Diversity to reducing biodiversity loss. This presents conservation biologists with perhaps their greatest challenge of the decade. The authors of this Policy Forum describe approaches to identifying more of the earth's biological diversity; understanding how biological, geophysical, and geochemical processes interact; and presenting scientific knowledge in time to contribute to and achieve the 2010 target.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The CBD-mandated Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP) is a global initiative that has operated since 2007, promoting and coordinating development and delivery of biodiversity indicators in support of the CBD and related Conventions, national and regional governments and a range of other sectors. UNEP-WCMC is the official Secretariat of the BIP.Resource Type: Reports
In order to build on the momentum created by the 2010 target of the Convention on Biological Diversity, we propose a shift away from a large set of static targets towards a smaller number of specific targets. Specifically, we present three categories of targets (red, green and blue) with examples of each. These relate respectively to (1) those biodiversity outcomes that must be avoided to avert situations that are deleterious for people, (2) the highly valued biodiversity conservation priorities, and (3) an improved scientific understanding necessary for adaptive management now and into the future.Resource Type: Journal Papers
In response to global declines in biodiversity, some 190 countries have pledged, under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Moreover, this target has recently been incorporated into the Millennium Development Goals in recognition of the impact of biodiversity loss on human well-being. Timely information on where and in what ways the target has or has not been met, as well as the likely direction of future trends, depends on a rigorous, relevant, and comprehensive suite of biodiversity indicators with which to track changes over time, to assess the impacts of policy and management responses, and to identify priorities for action. How far have we come in meeting these needs, and is it sufficient?Resource Type: Journal Papers
The threat posed to coral reefs by biological invasion is unlikely to diminish and should therefore be considered in analyses of the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This paper presents a trial of a species population trend indicator for evaluating progress towards the 2010 biodiversity target in Europe, using existing data. The indicator integrates trends on different species (groups), and can be aggregated across habitats and countries. Thus, the indicator can deliver both headline messages for high-level decision-making and detailed information for in-depth analysis, using data from different sources, collected with different methods.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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