Successful implementation of REDD is likely to require the reduction of deforestation rates on a national scale. Designation of new protected areas and strengthening of the current protected area network could form one strategy for achieving this. This review aims to inform the debate through an assessment of the effects of forest designation and management on deforestation rates, and through consideration of the design and management-related factors that influence protected area effectiveness in reducing deforestation. The evidence suggests that protected areas are an effective tool for reducing deforestation within their boundaries. The extent to which this deforestation is displaced to surrounding areas is unclear. Protected areas designated under the more restrictive IUCN categories (I-II) seem to be more effective than those that may include a focus on sustainable use (V-VI). However, there are only a small number of studies on deforestation within category V-VI protected areas.Resource Type: Reports
This report provides a synthesis of the current state of knowledge regarding the natural capital of water related ecosystems and habitats, and offers an overview of the innovative approaches that can support the analysis of the links between interconnected ecosystems. It analyses the linkages across coastal ecosystems (seagrasses, mangroves, and coral reefs) and the ‘value added’ in terms of ecosystem services (benefits) provided by these linkages as opposed to the services provided by just one system studied in isolation. The linkages between ecosystems are examined under consideration of environmental, economic, management and social aspects and recommendations are provided for integrating this new paradigm into cross-sectoral environmental practices.Resource Type: Reports
'Decision Time for Cloud Forests' is an illustrated introduction to the different types of cloud forests, their hydrology, biodiversity and the threats to them.Resource Type: Reports
This report provides the first map-based overview of environmental change in mountain regions and its implications for sustainable development. New global maps illustrate selected values of mountain ecosystems and many of the pressures that are causing environmental change. A range of case studies illustrate how environmental assessments can inform the sustainable development of mountain regions. Mountain environments cover 27 per cent of the earth's land surface and directly support 22 percent of the people who live within them. Lowland people also depend on mountain environments for a wide range of goods and services, for example, water, energy, timber, biodiversity maintenance and opportunities for recreation and spiritual renewal. Mountain people face an environment where everyday physical demands are great, natural hazards are significant, and agricultural production is constrained.Resource Type: Reports
The report, the fifth in UNEP's 'rapid response assessment' series, looks beyond forests and the REDD debates to the potential of natural and agricultural ecosystems to capture and store carbon. It examines the potential for gaining multiple benefits for livelihoods and ecosystem services through managing ecosystem carbon and considers the implications for policy.Resource Type: Reports
This report presents a country profile for 19 countries of West and Central Africa, considering the status, distribution, biodiversity, uses, threats and drivers of change for their mangroves. Although there is considerable work being undertaken to research this habitat at the national, regional and global level, there are still significant gaps in information, emphasizing a need for continued efforts to improve assessment in the region. This report concludes that there has been a decline in mangrove cover in the region over the last quarter of a century, and that there will be consequences as a result of this decline.Resource Type: Reports
A new rapid response assessment report released by UNEP warns that up to 25% of the world's food production may become lost due to environmental breakdown by 2050 unless action is taken. Prepared by the Rapid Response Assessment Team at UNEP/GRID-Arendal and UNEP-WCMC, the report provides the first summary by the UN of how climate change, water stress, invasive pests and land degradation may impact world food security, food prices and life on the planet and how we may be able to feed the world in a more sustainable manner. The report concludes that we need to get smart and more creative about recycling food wastes and fish discards into animal feed. While major efforts have gone into increasing efficiency in the traditional energy sector, food energy efficiency has received too little attention.
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