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.
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
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.
Global and regional coral reef area statistics are of considerable value in fields ranging from global environmental change to fisheries to conservation. Although widely quoted, Smith's 1978 figure of 600 000rkm2 is only an approximate calculation. The World Conservation Monitoring Centre has prepared a new estimate of reef coverage by mapping emergent reef crest and very shallow reef systems. These data were rasterised, using 1rkm grid squares, as a means of reducing errors arising from variation in scale. Global and regional reef coverages were calculated from the resultant grid. The total global area is estimated at 255 000rkm2, considerably lower than many previous estimates. Variation in reef area estimates is, in part, a function of variation in reef definition.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The countries affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami contain the most diverse and extensive coral reefs and mangroves of the Indian Ocean, and some of the richest in the world. Not only are these ecosystems among the most threatened in the world, they also provide numerous essential ecosystem services.
It is thus not surprising that reefs and mangroves received widespread attention after the tsunami, with three principal questions posed: Are the tsunami's impacts on reefs and mangroves a further threat to their future survival? Did reefs and mangroves play a role in shoreline protection and reduce structural damage and human mortality? How could reconstruction efforts include actions to maintain these ecosystems and reduce further threats to them?Resource Type: Journal Papers
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
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
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
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
©2013 UNEP All rights reserved