Feeding a rapidly expanding human population will require a large increase in the supply of agricultural products during the coming decades. This may lead to the transformation of many landscapes from natural vegetation cover to agricultural land use, unless increases in crop yields reduce the need for new farmland. Here, we assess the evidence that past increases in agricultural yield have spared land for wild nature. We investigated the relationship between the change in the combined energy yield of the 23 most energetically important food crops over the period 1979–1999 and the change in per capita cropland area for 124 countries over the same period.
Our results show that land-sparing is a weak process that occurs under a limited set of circumstances, but that it can have positive outcomes for the conservation of wild nature.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This summary document outlines the need for spatial data on tree species as a tool for conservation action. It introduces plans for a tree species mapping programme that will build on the forest mapping information management expertise of UNEP-WCMC. A Global Tree Conservation Atlas will be one of the main outputs of the Global Trees Campaign. The Campaign focuses on trees as flagship species for conservation of ecosystems and landscapes, and enables local people to carry out rescue and sustainable use operations. Working in partnership with organizations around the globe, the Global Trees Campaign aims to save the world's most threatened tree species and their habitats through information, conservation and wise use.Resource Type: Reports
The EnRisk project – Environmental Risk Assessment for European Agriculture was finalized in October 2004. This project, coordinated by ECNC, was funded by the European Commission as a Concerted Action under the theme 'Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources' of the Fifth Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities.
The report, written by a team of international environmental experts and conservationists, describes an innovative methodology and the results of a three-year study that applied agri-environmental indicators and European datasets to identify the main environmental risk areas in Europe. It covers soil erosion, nutrient enrichment, pesticide use and their integrated risks for biodiversity and landscapes.Resource Type: Reports
This report presents a country profile for 19 countries of West and Central Africa, considering the status, distribution, biodiversity, uses, threats and drivers of change for their mangroves. Although there is considerable work being undertaken to research this habitat at the national, regional and global level, there are still significant gaps in information, emphasizing a need for continued efforts to improve assessment in the region. This report concludes that there has been a decline in mangrove cover in the region over the last quarter of a century, and that there will be consequences as a result of this decline.Resource Type: Reports
This report reviews the current state of knowledge on the biodiversity impacts (both positive and negative) of biofuel production, with an emphasis on the potential influence of current and future government policies. Although the focus is primarily on first generation biofuels, second and third generation biofuels are also discussed. The potential for sustainability criteria to ameliorate biodiversity impacts is also assessed.Resource Type: Reports
A UN-REDD workshop on ‘Identifying and promoting ecosystem co-benefits from REDD+’ was held from 27th-29th April 2010 in Cambridge, UK, convened by UNEP-WCMC. Forty-four people participated in the workshop, including representatives from five UN-REDD pilot countries, one observer country, and a number of different institutions, agencies and NGOs.Resource Type: Reports
A new rapid response assessment report released by UNEP warns that up to 25% of the world's food production may become lost due to environmental breakdown by 2050 unless action is taken. Prepared by the Rapid Response Assessment Team at UNEP/GRID-Arendal and UNEP-WCMC, the report provides the first summary by the UN of how climate change, water stress, invasive pests and land degradation may impact world food security, food prices and life on the planet and how we may be able to feed the world in a more sustainable manner. The report concludes that we need to get smart and more creative about recycling food wastes and fish discards into animal feed. While major efforts have gone into increasing efficiency in the traditional energy sector, food energy efficiency has received too little attention.
Protected areas could play a significant role in the implementation of schemes to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) in developing countries, through either the strengthening of the existing protected area network, or designation of new areas. Many rural poor people rely on forest resources, and may experience positive or negative changes to their livelihoods as a result of REDD. This review aims to assess the livelihood implications of the existing protected area network in order to inform future REDD policy.
The costs and benefits of individual protected areas for community livelihoods have been well documented. Costs can range from displacement of local communities to crop damage by wildlife, and sometimes include restricted access to resources and changes in land tenure. Benefits can include direct revenue from environmental protection, and the maintenance of ecosystem services such as watershed protection. The nature of these costs and benefits depends largely upon the protected area’s status and governance, as well as its history of use.Resource Type: Reports
©2013 UNEP All rights reserved