Datasets Available from UNEP-WCMC: Excluding WDPA
Access to UNEP-WCMC datasets is provided on the understanding that you read and consent to be bound by the Terms and Conditions attached. For the purposes of this Agreement the “Data” comprise any of the spatial data and associated attribute data downloadable from the UNEP-WCMC website, excluding the World Database on Protected Areas.
The purpose of the work, which began in 1976, was to show how the national forests of the United States fit within the global ecoregional scheme. In this system an ecoregion is defined as any large portion of the Earth's surface over which the ecosystems have characteristics in common. There are three levels in this classification system, the Domains, the Divisions and the Provinces.
Ecoregions of the continents are based on macroclimate (i.e., the climate that lies just beyond the local modifying irregularities of landform and vegetation). The theory behind the approach is that macroclimates are among the most significant factors affecting the distribution of life on Earth. As the macroclimate changes, the other components of the ecosystem change in response. Macroclimates influence soil formation and help shape surface topography, as well as affecting the suitability for human habitation.
Four Domains were defined: Polar, Humid temperate, Humid tropical and Dry. The combination of temperature and rainfall to indicate major climatic zones was based on Köppen and Trewartha's work, where dry climates were treated as a separate entity from Tropical humid and Temperate humid. However, the Köppen system defines an addtional "Subtropical" division at this level.
The next level in the Bailey system is the Divisions, and these are also climate - based, for example in the Humid temperate Domain there is Hot continental, Warm continental, Subtropical, Marine, Prairie and Mediterranean, all with Mountain variants (i.e., a total of 12 Divisions in this Domain). There are a total of 30 of these.
The third and last level are the Provinces, which are based on physiognomy of vegetation, modified by climate. For example, the Forest-Meadow of Eastern Oceanic (Monsoon climate). There are a total of 98 of these subdivisions.
The global map has been digitised and converted to a geographic (lat/long) projection by the WCMC, Cambridge, UK. It is also available on CD from NOAAs National Geophysical Data Center in Boulder, Colorado as part of their Global Ecosystem Database Project. http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/Store/.Resource Type: Spatial Data / Maps
Deforestation is a main driver of climate change and biodiversity loss. An incentive mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Here we use the best available global data sets on terrestrial biodiversity and carbon storage to map and investigate potential synergies between carbon and biodiversity-oriented conservation.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This paper reviews the potential for carbon sequestration in dryland ecosystems, which includes forests, but also covers other habitats, such as grasslands, and, importantly, soils. It also considers ways in which carbon storage in drylands affects land degradation issues.Resource Type: Reports
Advice on assessment of biodiversity impacts is required to support trade negotiations and reduce risks of unforeseen consequences for important biodiversity and those who depend on it for their livelihoods. This paper explores linkages between biodiversity and trade and draws on examples from the agriculture sector to reinforce the need to build a biodiversity-inclusive process for as-sessing impacts of trade policies and agreements.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
This reports looks at the carbon storage function of protected areas as a contribution to the development of strategies for reducing emissions from land use change. In particular, it is relevant to the current discussions surrounding reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).Resource Type: Reports
This study combines the best available data on carbon stocks and deforestation with protected area data to estimate the area of forest loss within the protected area network of the humid tropical forest biome during 2000-2005.Resource Type: Reports
Putting REDD+ into practice can involve a broad range of actions that change the management of forest and other lands. Depending on what is done and how, these actions can have different effects on the forest environment and the lives of local people. This report identifies some of the advantages and drawbacks of different options. It aims to assist REDD+ decision-makers and stakeholders in Indonesia, including district-level governments and local communities, to assess the possible outcomes of their choices and to plan for actions that provide multiple social and environmental benefits.Resource Type: Reports
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
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