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 purpose of the work, which began in 1976, was to show how the national forests of the United States fit within the global ecoregional scheme. In this system an ecoregion is defined as any large portion of the Earth's surface over which the ecosystems have characteristics in common. There are three levels in this classification system, the Domains, the Divisions and the Provinces.
Ecoregions of the continents are based on macroclimate (i.e., the climate that lies just beyond the local modifying irregularities of landform and vegetation). The theory behind the approach is that macroclimates are among the most significant factors affecting the distribution of life on Earth. As the macroclimate changes, the other components of the ecosystem change in response. Macroclimates influence soil formation and help shape surface topography, as well as affecting the suitability for human habitation.
Four Domains were defined: Polar, Humid temperate, Humid tropical and Dry. The combination of temperature and rainfall to indicate major climatic zones was based on Köppen and Trewartha's work, where dry climates were treated as a separate entity from Tropical humid and Temperate humid. However, the Köppen system defines an addtional "Subtropical" division at this level.
The next level in the Bailey system is the Divisions, and these are also climate - based, for example in the Humid temperate Domain there is Hot continental, Warm continental, Subtropical, Marine, Prairie and Mediterranean, all with Mountain variants (i.e., a total of 12 Divisions in this Domain). There are a total of 30 of these.
The third and last level are the Provinces, which are based on physiognomy of vegetation, modified by climate. For example, the Forest-Meadow of Eastern Oceanic (Monsoon climate). There are a total of 98 of these subdivisions.
The global map has been digitised and converted to a geographic (lat/long) projection by the WCMC, Cambridge, UK. It is also available on CD from NOAAs National Geophysical Data Center in Boulder, Colorado as part of their Global Ecosystem Database Project. http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/Store/.Resource Type: Spatial Data / Maps
On October 16, at the REDD+ Day of CBD COP 11 in Hyderabad, the UN-REDD programme launched a policy brief focusing on multiple benefits and safeguards under REDD+. The paper elaborated on the use of tools and data to support decisions, and presented examples from implementation in REDD+ countries.
REDD+ is increasingly considered to have the potential to contribute to a range of policy goals in addition to climate change mitigation in the forestry sector. It is also recognized that there are social and environmental risks that may arise as the REDD+ mechanism is being implemented.
What has been less widely acknowledged is that avoiding significant risks and securing additional benefits from REDD+ could be the key to the overall success of the mechanism. By securing benefits beyond carbon, REDD+ can draw support from broader social and political constituencies; demonstrate that it enables a wider range of values to be realized; and generates sustainable income sources.
For governments and other stakeholders to adopt a broader approach to REDD+, a strong evidence base is needed to demonstrate that additional benefits will indeed be achieved, and contributions to national and local priorities accomplished. The Policy Brief outlines a series of analytical approaches that can help provide an evidence base to inform REDD+ decisions. It focuses on addressing environmental risks and benefits, and provides examples from Panama, Nigeria, DRC and Indonesia of where these approaches are already used.
The policy brief was drafted collaboratively with UNEP by UNEP-WCMC as part of their work for the UN-REDD Programme.Resource Type: Tools / Applications
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