One third of the world’s population lives in coastal areas and rapid development of these areas has meant increased construction of coastal infrastruc- ture (e.g. ports, navigation channels, coastal de- fence) and related activities (e.g. land reclamation, beach nourishment), which has inevitably led to conflicting priorities between coral reef conservation and economic growth. The key impacts of these ac- tivities, if not managed, include:
• Direct loss of coral reef caused by the removal or burial of reefs
• Lethal or sub-lethal stress to corals caused by elevated turbidity and sedimentation rates
Dredging and port construction activities potentially affect not only the site itself, but also surrounding ar- eas, through a large number of impact vectors (e.g. turbid plumes, sedimentation, release of contami- nants, bathymetric changes). Effects may be imme- diate or develop over a longer timeframe and may be temporary or permanent in nature, depending on a large number of factors.
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
Economic valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services is increasingly being considered to be of critical importance for informed decision-making and effective management of marine and coastal resources.
However, the translation of scientific theory to policy in practice can be challenging.
This report provides an overview of the main methods of economic valuation, their strengths and weaknesses, and practical applications. Theoretical concepts are illustrated with a number of practical examples throughout this report, to demonstrate how these approaches can be of practical use across all scales, in policy development, decision making and communication. Practical guidance on how to implement a valuation exercise, and how to overcome common challenges, is also provided.
Evidence is accumulating that taking an Ecosystems Services Approach can make development more sustainable by sustaining nature’s capacity to provide needed goods and services.This guide assembles that evidence for use by a decision maker. It details the processes that they can use, beginning with a conceptual framework that links development and ecosystem services and ending with guidance for choosing policies to sustain ecosystem services.
By offering decision makers the conceptual and practical guidance for choosing policies that better attend to ecosystem services, this guide aims to help unite nature and development. Instead of solely working to protect natur from development, we may also begin to invest in nature for development.Resource Type: Reports
Technical report on the collection of geographic data, the regression analysis of explanatory factors of land use patterns, the development of a set of three alternative scenarios, and the modelling of land use changes using the CLUES model. This work was carried out as part of the ICRAN-MAR project's sub-result 1.2, "Trends in land use integrated with spatial, hydrological and oceanographic models for use in modelling".Resource Type: Reports
UNEP-WCMC In collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Commission for Ecosystem Management (IUCN -CEM) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) organised and hosted an international workshop on Ecosystem Service Indicators from September 22nd - 23rd 2009. Funded by the Swedish International Biodiversity Programme (SwedBio), the workshop brought together 16 experts from all over the world in the fields of indicators and ecosystem services. The aim of the workshop was to identify a suite of ecosystem service indicators of policy relevance, and the datasets available/necessary to underpin them, that could be applied within assessments and monitoring at different scales.Resource Type: Reports
The aim of this study was to identify and examine potential benefits of undertaking an ecosystem assessment for England. The need for such a study has arisen largely as a result of the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) which not only demonstrated the importance of ecosystem services to human wellbeing, but also showed that at global scales, many key services are being degraded and lost.Resource Type: Reports
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
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
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.
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