How may we improve the quality, accessibility and usefulness of data about the living world? Three examples present themselves: use of new technology to build capacity for biodiversity knowledge management in the developing world; engagement of new sources of data; and harmonization of official data deriving from inter-governmental biodiversity-related treaties.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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.
To provide a global context for a discussion of mountain forests, it is first necessary to define the locations and types of mountain forests, and this in turn requires a definition of mountains or mountain areas. Altitude and slope and the environmental gradients they generate are key components of such a definition, but their combination is problematic. Simple altitude thresholds both exclude older and lower mountain systems and include areas of relatively high elevation that have little topographic relief and few environmental gradients. Using slope as a criterion on its own or in combination with altitude can resolve the latter problem, but not the former. The mountains dataset shows the location of mountain land estimated from a digital elevation model using criteria based on elevation alone (the upper three classes: > 2 500 metres) and at lower elevation, on a combination of elevation, slope and local elevation range. This is an update of the Mountain's of the World 2000 and was produced for the UNEP-WCMC publication Mountain Watch, 2002.
The mountains dataset has been overlayed with a global data set on percent tree cover taken from MODIS 1-km resolution percent tree cover data, courtesy of University of Maryland Global Land Cover Facility. Species richness, density and forest height tend to reduce with increasing altitude; the boundary between forest vegetation and more open ground cover at higher elevation 'the treeline' is an ecological marker signifying the transition to more extreme climatic conditions.Resource Type: Spatial Data / Maps
We briefly review recent global trends in habitat area in as many broadly-defined natural habitats as possible, and in indices of animal populations characteristic of those habitats. The information available indicates continuing declines in habitat area and species, but those data are extremely sparse.Resource Type: Journal Papers
We suggest that well-targeted instruments that consider contextual information, such as conservation status, are the most effective and efficient approach to monitoring international wildlife trade for conservation purposes. Where relevant, such instruments could be expanded to include additional species not currently protected, or new instruments could be developed to monitor certain groups as appropriate.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The number of environmental variables used during modelling could affect the outcome, but we found no correlation between these and our estimates of extinction risk in global samples. Although further investigation is needed, it is unlikely to result in substantially reduced estimates of extinction. Anthropogenic climate change seems set to generate very large numbers of species-level extinctions.Resource Type: Journal Papers
National Parks and other protected areas not only provide a safe haven for biodiversity, they provide benefits to local communities and preserve some of the most beautiful places on our planet. ‘Coverage of protected areas’ is also a specific indicator in the 2010 Target of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Obtaining the data necessary to monitor trends in protected areas requires a massive effort by national authorities to compile, analyse and then distribute this data to the centralised depository of the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA). With a living and growing system of protected areas that now exceed 100,000 sites covering 19 million square kilometres, you can imagine that this is no small task!
Recent climate talks in Bali have made progress toward action on deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, within the anticipated post-Kyoto emissions reduction agreements. As a result of such action, many forests will be better protected, but some land-use change will be displaced to other locations. The demonstration phase launched at Bali offers an opportunity to examine potential outcomes for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Research will be needed into selection of priority areas for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation to deliver multiple benefits, on-the-ground methods to best ensure these benefits, and minimization of displaced land-use change into nontarget countries and ecosystems, including through revised conservation investments.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The forests of eastern Tanzania are a globally important biodiversity hotspot. In this study 361 eastern Tanzanian restricted range forest tree taxa were assessed. Of these taxa, 223 occurred in the Eastern Arc, 150 in Coastal forests, 17 in Northern forests and 21 in the Lake Nyasa forests. The majority of the taxa had restricted elevational ranges with 76.3 occurring in no more than two 200 m elevational bands out of a total potential elevation range of 3000 m. The majority of the taxa occupied a small area in the eastern Tanzanian forests, with 201 taxa being only found at a few sites. In determining priority areas for conservation, selection of taxon definitions can have important effects. For example, tree size varies with elevation, so if only large trees are used then site selection will be biased towards particular areas.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This report is a contribution to the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity and is a complement to the UNEP-hosted Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) which is bringing visibility to the wealth of the world’s natural capital. It documents over 30 successful case studies referencing thousands of restoration projects ranging from deserts and rainforests to rivers and coasts. The report confirms that restoration is not only possible but can prove highly proftable in terms of public savings; returns and the broad objectives of overcoming poverty and achieving sustainability. It also provides important recommendations on how to avoid pitfalls and how to minimize risks to ensure successful restoration.Resource Type: Reports
Chapter from STATUS AND TRENDS OF, AND THREATS TO, MOUNTAIN BIODIVERSITY, MARINE, COASTAL AND INLAND WATER ECOSYSTEMS: abstracts of poster presentations at the eighth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice of the Convention on Biological Diversity.Resource Type: Reports
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