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.
To provide a global context for a discussion of mountain forests, it is first necessary to define the locations and types of mountain forests, and this in turn requires a definition of mountains or mountain areas. Altitude and slope and the environmental gradients they generate are key components of such a definition, but their combination is problematic. Simple altitude thresholds both exclude older and lower mountain systems and include areas of relatively high elevation that have little topographic relief and few environmental gradients. Using slope as a criterion on its own or in combination with altitude can resolve the latter problem, but not the former. The mountains dataset shows the location of mountain land estimated from a digital elevation model using criteria based on elevation alone (the upper three classes: > 2 500 metres) and at lower elevation, on a combination of elevation, slope and local elevation range. This is an update of the Mountain's of the World 2000 and was produced for the UNEP-WCMC publication Mountain Watch, 2002.
The mountains dataset has been overlayed with a global data set on percent tree cover taken from MODIS 1-km resolution percent tree cover data, courtesy of University of Maryland Global Land Cover Facility. Species richness, density and forest height tend to reduce with increasing altitude; the boundary between forest vegetation and more open ground cover at higher elevation 'the treeline' is an ecological marker signifying the transition to more extreme climatic conditions.Resource Type: Spatial Data / Maps
This brief note suggests that Laurance and Venter’s proposal to replace developing countries’ role in the process of monitoring forest carbon stocks for the REDD programme may not be in the long-term interests of promoting reduced emissions from forests in developing countries.Resource Type: Journal Papers
A table is provided of 122 bird species with restricted breeding distributions and for which Nepal may hold significant populations. Habitat threats and population changes are detailed for 33 species for which Nepal may be especially important. The vital importance of Nepal's forests to Nepal's avifauna is emphasised.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is currently discussing the development of a mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (RED). An effective RED mechanism could provide an unprecedented opportunity to contribute towards the goals of a range of multilateral environmental agreements and mechanisms, including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), by helping to ensure that forests continue to provide vital ecosystem services, conserve biodiversity, and enhance livelihoods. The design and implementation of the mechanism will affect the degree to which these other benefits are obtained.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Protected areas can act as a case study for REDD: lessons can be learnt from their success or otherwise in reducing deforestation and supporting local livelihoods. Further research into the most effective management and governance frameworks for acheiving goals on carbon emissions, biodiversity and communities, and the extent to which protected areas reduce (or merely displace) deforestation within national boundaries would be useful in informing REDD implementation.Resource Type: Journal Papers
We explore the implications of REDD design and implementation options on biodiversity conservation and ways to link REDD with biodiversity conservation. From both a mitigation and biodiversity perspective, the most important immediate steps are to ensure that REDD is included in the new global climate agreement and maximizes the area of tropical forest conserved. It may also be possible to include guidelines or incentives within a REDD framework or in national implementation to channel funding to areas of high biodiversity. However, if the immediate steps above are not taken first, REDD will reach neither its mitigation nor its biodiversity conservation potential.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Assessments of forest biodiversity - the diversity within forest species, between species and of forest ecosystems - are essential if forest resources are to be effectively conserved and sustainably managed (Hunter, 1999). Assessments are needed to provide information necessary to support biodiversity-related decision-making in forest policy and management. However, assessment of forest biodiversity presents a number of challenges. First, because of the complexity of biodiversity, information about it needs to be assembled and expressed based on simplified variables, typically in the form of indicators (Noss, 1990, 1999). Second, since decisions relating to forests are made at a variety of scales, biodiversity data and indicators need to be aggregated across different scales for monitoring and reporting purposes (Noss, 1990; Turner, 1995).Resource Type: Journal Papers
Recent climate talks in Bali have made progress toward action on deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, within the anticipated post-Kyoto emissions reduction agreements. As a result of such action, many forests will be better protected, but some land-use change will be displaced to other locations. The demonstration phase launched at Bali offers an opportunity to examine potential outcomes for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Research will be needed into selection of priority areas for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation to deliver multiple benefits, on-the-ground methods to best ensure these benefits, and minimization of displaced land-use change into nontarget countries and ecosystems, including through revised conservation investments.Resource Type: Journal Papers
At the 9th meeting of the SBSTTA of the CBD a recommendation was made to begin testing of five biodiversity indicators in order to measure progress towards the 2010 target. This paper considers one of these indicators for Pan-Europe. The basic principle of the index is to calculate the average trend in abundance of a set of ecosystem-representative species. The index is considered to be generic, i.e. applicable to all ecosystem types including forests. It can produce both headline messages for high-level policy and communication, and detailed information for in-depth analysis. This paper describes the conceptual framework of the index and explores the data availability for the index in Pan-Europe.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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