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
This report presents a synthesis and integration of the findings concerning biodiversity contained in the reports of the four Millennium Assessment Working Groups (Condition and Trends, Scenarios, Responses, and Sub-global Assessments).Resource Type: Reports
This briefing considers the implications for biodiversity conservation and local people’s livelihoods of the current discussion on reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries (RED-DC, henceforth RED) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The potential for RED to deliver multiple benefits for biodiversity conservation, livelihoods and other ecosystem services is well documented (UNEP-WCMC 2007). But it is important to note that RED could also have negative impacts on biodiversity and local livelihoods, for example as a result of the displacement of deforestation.Resource Type: Reports
Incorporating and utilising spatial data and mapping for NBSAPs: Guidance to support NBSAP practitionersResource Type: Reports
Over recent decades, biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction have both become international societal and political goals. There is recognition of the links between these two goals both within the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Millennium Development Goals. However, the causal relationships are not so simple either that one can say poverty causes biodiversity loss, or improvements in biodiversity reduce poverty. This suggests a need to be more specific in defining what types of poverty and biodiversity issues are being assessed.
Two “state of knowledge” reviews were commissioned to explore the evidence base for two common assumptions about the link between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction: 1) that the poor depend on biodiversity; and 2) that biodiversity conservation can be a mechanism for poverty reduction. These attempt to tease apart the issues of what type of poverty and what type of biodiversity are being assessed.Resource Type: Reports
Deforestation and degradation account for around 20% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, widely believed to drive climate change. Growing concerns about the impacts of climate change have fuelled international interest in developing mechanisms to slow deforestation and degradation rates, such as the ‘Reduce Emissions for Deforestation and Degradation’ (REDD) Programme. Its potential contribution to rural poverty reduction could be immense, but REDD mechanisms may also entail new risks. This paper presents a framework for understanding the linkages between REDD and poverty, and conducts an initial analysis of the poverty implications of REDD.Resource Type: Reports
UNEP-WCMC produces reports for a number of fora including CITES, the European Commission and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). Recent examples of these reports can be downloaded here in PDF format.Resource Type: Reports
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