The impacts of "human-induced" climate change are now being observed in every aspect of life, and it is the most significant and far-reaching current environmental threat. This book introduces a series of case-studies highlighting the observed current changes in a number of species and habitats, ranging from the tropics through to the polar regions, and in some cases predictions for future impacts.Resource Type: Reports
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
With biodiversity still in rapid decline, effective and policy relevant indicators are urgently needed. The current indicator framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is widely influential and includes many good measures. However, each of the CBD indicators presently exists in isolation. It is not clear how they relate to each other, nor how they can be used to assess and inform policies for stemming biodiversity loss.
This study makes use of extensive spatial datasets, previously unavailable, to provide a comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of biodiversity throughout the tropics. The extent to which potential habitats and closed moist forests are represented in protected areas is assessed. Priorities for conservation action are identified on the basis of a country's relative importance for a given habitat and the extent to which it is protected. National importance for biodiversity is also examined in relation to natural and foreign investments in protected areas.Resource Type: Reports
This paper reviews the potential for multiple benefits that might be attained by reducing emissions from deforestation (RED) through a mechanism developed under the UNFCCC. These benefits are relevant to national commitments under several environmental and sustainable development conventions and instruments, and may not be directly correlated with reduced carbon emissions. The design of the mechanism and its implementation will affect the degree to which these other benefits, such as biodiversity conservation, livelihoods, watershed protection and other ecosystem goods and services, are obtained.Resource Type: Reports
This paper provides an overview of the issues surrounding and opportunities for achieving ‘multiple benefits’ from Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in developing countries (REDD). The UN‐REDD Programme understands the term ‘multiple benefits’ to include both the ecosystem and social benefits of REDD.
It is an output of the International Support Functions component of the UN‐REDD Programme, relating specifically to the development of output 3.2: ‘Tools to encourage the capture of ecosystem service co‐benefits developed’,focussing on the ecosystem aspects of multiple benefits.Resource Type: Reports
This publication provides a concise account of the available information and current issues facing mangroves in East African countries. It comprises a regional summary of the factors and activities that affect mangroves across East Africa, and a series of reports that focus on South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania, the Seychelles, Kenya and Somalia. These country summaries include details of mangrove-related legislation, industries associated with and involving mangroves, and details of how mangroves are utilized by local human communities. Information on marine protected areas that cover mangroves is also provided as are regional and national scale maps.Resource Type: Reports
While developed countries control most of the world's financial resources, it is the developing world that is home to most of its biological resources. This study provides an overview of the extent to which industry in the developed world relies on the biodiversity of the developing world. The first section of the report reviews the direct consumptive use, with fisheries and forestry the largest components. The remaining chapters examine two specific industrial inputs where biodiversity serves as an information source: the use of wild genetic resources in plant breeding and the use of substances derived from the wild in the pharmaceutical industry. The project was funded under the UK Government Darwin Initiative.Resource Type: Reports
This report has gathered lessons that have been learned since these events that will be relevant to future management of the coasts in the context of severe weather events and other potential consequences of global warming. More than ever it is essential to consider the full value of ecosystem services - that is the benefits that people derive from ecosystems - when making decisions about coastal development.Resource Type: Reports
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