South East Asia contains nearly 100,000 km2 of coral reefs, almost 34% of the world total. With over 600 of the almost 800 reef-building coral species, these reefs have the highest levels of marine biodiversity on earth. Heavy reliance on marine resources across South East Asia has resulted in the overexploitation and degradation of many coral reefs. An estimated 88% of them are threatened by human activity.Resource Type: Reports
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
Since the late 1970s the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has delivered services that support implementation of international biodiversity-related agreements at global, regional and national levels. These services not only support the work of the agreement secretariats, but also of the advisory and governance bodies, and of governments party to the various agreements. The aim of this paper is to illustrate this work through examples of work we have undertaken.
The support that UNEP-WCMC provides is based on expert understanding of the agreements and how they work, resulting from many years of experience and close relationships with secretariats.Resource Type: Reports
Coral reefs are an integral part of the Caribbean fabric, threading along thousands of kilometres of coastline. Unfortunately, these valuable ecosystems are degrading rapidly under the mounting pressure of many human activities. Understanding the nature and extent of these threats and their likely economic impacts on the future productivity of Caribbean coral reefs is of central importance to conservation and planning efforts.
The Reefs at Risk in the Carribean project was launched to help protect and restore these valuable, threatened ecosystems by providing decision-makers and the public with information and tools to manage coastal habitats more effectively.
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 coral reefs dataset has been compiled by UNEP-WCMC to show the global distribution of warm water coral reefs. This dataset has been created from multiple sources and was used in the creation of the World Atlas of Coral Reefs (2001). This polygon feature dataset is an update of the data used in the Atlas but is based on a 1km raster version of the dataset to enable distribution of the data. This is due to restrictions placed by some data sources and suppliers.Resource Type: Spatial Data / Maps
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
On behalf of the CBD Executive Secretary, UNEP-WCMC has compiled and synthesized available scientific information on ocean fertilization and its observed and predicted impacts on marine biodiversity and habitats. The study will inform the review of the CBD marine and coastal programme of work in 2010.Resource Type: Reports
Coral reefs are a critical global resource, both biologically, and in socio-economic terms. Coral reefs are also highly sensitive to climatic influences and appear to number among the most sensitive of all ecosystems to temperature changes, exhibiting the phenomenon known as coral bleaching when stressed by higher than normal sea temperatures.Resource Type: Reports
UNEP-WCMC in collaboration with the International Cable Protection Committee and UNEP has prepared a new report which provides an objective, factual description of the sub-marine cable industry and the interaction of submarine telecommunications (which route 95% of all international communications traffic) with the marine environment. This important report seeks to focus and guide deliberations and decision making on the wise conservation and protection of the oceans in concert with their sustainable management and use.Resource Type: Reports
Marine waters cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface and open ocean waters comprise by far the most extensive major ecosystem on the planet, but its biodiversity remains poorly-known. WCMC, in collaboration with UNEP's Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme Activity Centre, produced a region-by-region account of select issues in marine biological diversity. Each account includes descriptive text on the oceanography, elements of biodiversity (including estimates of species richness and endemism), and a discussion of marine fisheries and their current status.Resource Type: Reports
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