The deep sea is the oldest and largest biome on Earth, yet we have little knowledge of the ecosystems and processes in these dark, hidden depths. Only in the last two decades have new technologies enabled scientists to start exploring this last frontier – and their discoveries are fascinating but alarming: the deep sea is teeming with life but is already showing clear signs of anthropogenic impacts despite its remoteness. Many vulnerable deep-sea habitats and communities are being destroyed by fishing and are under threat from increasing exploitation of their mineral and living resources.Resource Type: Reports
At UNFCCC COP14 UNEP-WCMC released Carbon and biodiversity: a demonstration atlas (Kapos et al. 2008). Using global datasets on carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems and areas of high priority for biodiversity conservation, this publication illustrated the potential of spatial analyses to assist decision-makers in identifying areas where reducing emissions from land use change could at the same time help to secure biodiversity benefits.
However, to support planning and decision-making at national and sub-national scales, such analyses must be based on data developed at an appropriate scale and should be done in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders to help prioritise among the different benefits and services under consideration.
This report presents data and analyses on areas of high carbon density and high priority for biodiversity in Jiangxi Province, China. The degree of their overlap with protected areas is assessed, and their relationship to the distribution of human population is explored.Resource Type: Reports
In 2003, UNEP and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO published 'A survey of global and regional marine environmental assessments and related scientific activities' in response to the call of the UN General Assembly (Resolution 57/141) and the Heads of States and Governments at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to establish a regular process for the global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment. Today, the urgency to understand the state and functioning of our oceans is even greater than ever. In December 2006, the 61st session of the United nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution (A/RES/61/222) on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, renewing the commitment of Member Stats to support the implementation of the start-up phase: the Assessment of Assessments of the Regular Process.Resource Type: Reports
This Manual makes the methods of the MA and associated sub-global (local and regional) assessments widely accessible. While the MA is the most comprehensive assessment of ecosystems carried out to date, there are other related assessment processes such as Global Environment Outlook (GEO), Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA), International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) and World Water Assessment. Lessons learned from these assessments supplement the best practice of ecosystem assessment identified through the MA. The publication of this Manual aims to encourage more assessments at scales which are relevant to policy and decision makers.
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
The third edition of Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3) summarizes the latest data on status and trends of biodiversity and draws conclusions for the future strategy of the Convention. GBO-3 is based on a range of information sources, including National Reports, biodiversity indicators information, scientific literature, and a study assessing biodiversity scenarios for the future.Resource Type: Reports
This report reviews the current state of knowledge on the biodiversity impacts (both positive and negative) of biofuel production, with an emphasis on the potential influence of current and future government policies. Although the focus is primarily on first generation biofuels, second and third generation biofuels are also discussed. The potential for sustainability criteria to ameliorate biodiversity impacts is also assessed.Resource Type: Reports
A UN-REDD workshop on ‘Identifying and promoting ecosystem co-benefits from REDD+’ was held from 27th-29th April 2010 in Cambridge, UK, convened by UNEP-WCMC. Forty-four people participated in the workshop, including representatives from five UN-REDD pilot countries, one observer country, and a number of different institutions, agencies and NGOs.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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