Assuming no radical transformation in human behavior, we can expect important changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services by 2050. A considerable number of species extinctions will have taken place. Existing large blocks of tropical forest will be much reduced and fragmented, but temperate forests and some tropical forests will be stable or increasing in area, although the latter will be biotically impoverished. Marine ecosystems will be very different from today's, with few large marine predators, and freshwater biodiversity will be severely reduced almost everywhere. These changes will not, in themselves, threaten the survival of humans as a species.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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
The IUCN Summit on Protected Area Management Categories was held in Almeria, Spain in May 2007. It aimed to test the opinions of key thinkers and policy makers regarding the revision of guidelines to interpretation of the six IUCN protected area categories. The meeting was generously supported by the Junta de Andalusia, the Spanish Ministry of Environment and the foundation Biodiversidad. The meeting operated through plenary sessions and a series of specialised workshops, with many presentations and time for detailed discussion. There were two field trips, midway through the meeting and at the end. More than a hundred people attended from over fifty countries around of the world.Resource Type: Reports
This JNCC-commissioned report highlights biodiversity impacts of indirect land use change caused by biofuel production. Increased demand for biofuels to achieve renewable energy targets is putting pressure on biodiversity worldwide. The research highlights a new and so far little understood threat: the impact of indirect land use change on biodiversity.Resource Type: Tools / Applications
The 2003 UN List of Protected Areas, the thirteenth produced since 1962, records the global community's endeavour to conserve the Earth's natural places. This is the first version to attempt a comprehensive presentation of all the world's known protected areas, listing 102,102 sites covering 18.8 million sq km compared to just over 1,000 protected areas in 1962.Resource Type: Reports
This document provides information about the standards and data held within the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). The WDPA Data Standards specify a common set of information that data providers are asked to provide when submitting data to the WDPA. These ensure that the most vital information is collected and that the data is supplied in a common format that is globally interoperable. This document also provides detailed information on the type of information and each attribute/field within the WDPA.Resource Type: Reports
Biologists view Protected Areas (PAs) as natural areas established and managed primarily for the conservation of nature. However, many early Pas were established for aesthetic or socio-economic reasons and received little scientific input to their design. More recently, scientists have identified gaps in PA networks and various contemporary PAs have been established to provide for habitats and species in need of protection.
Scientists have also modelled minimum areas and population sizes that should be protected to prevent extinctions arising from demographic or chance causes. However, these theoretical ideals are difficult to put into practice, particularly as PAs increasingly face more immediate external threats. If scientists are to influence future PA design, and if PAs are to succeed in the long term, these concepts must be applied in practice. Therefore, sufficient protection must be integrated with human needs and aspirations in the design of future protected areas.
This study reviews the biogeographic and biodiversity coverage of the current World Heritage network and identifies broad gaps. It also identifies priority sites for biodiversity conservation that may merit World Heritage listing in the future and reviews how these could help fill the existing gaps in the network.Resource Type: Reports
Horizon scanning identifies emerging issues in a given field sufficiently early to conduct research to inform policy and practice. Our group of horizon scanners, including academics and researchers, convened to identify fifteen nascent issues that could affect the conservation of biological diversity. These include the impacts of and potential human responses to climate change, novel biological and digital technologies, novel pollutants and invasive species. We expect to repeat this process and collation annually.Resource Type: Journal Papers
How do bioenergy policies relate to the REDD+ mechanism, is the subject of this new Bioenergy Issue Paper jointly authored by UNEP and UNEP-WCMC.
The potential contribution of bioenergy in reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases has been widely debated, both in terms of climate change mitigation potential and potential risk of increases in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from land use change. This has raised the question of how bioenergy policies relate to the REDD+ mechanism developed under the UNFCCC. This issue paper examines the complexity of this relationship and stresses the importance of ensuring policy coherence across the relevant sectors.
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