Using global scale maps and statistics, we estimate that the conversion of all vulnerable tropical forests to the most valuable other land use at each location could lead to emissions of 670 Gt carbon dioxide (CO2). We then evaluate the role of the global protected area network in preventing emissions from tropical deforestation.Resource Type: Reports
How do bioenergy policies relate to the REDD+ mechanism, is the subject of this new Bioenergy Issue Paper jointly authored by UNEP and UNEP-WCMC.
The potential contribution of bioenergy in reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases has been widely debated, both in terms of climate change mitigation potential and potential risk of increases in greenhouse gas emissions resulting from land use change. This has raised the question of how bioenergy policies relate to the REDD+ mechanism developed under the UNFCCC. This issue paper examines the complexity of this relationship and stresses the importance of ensuring policy coherence across the relevant sectors.
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This summary report aims to provide the European Commission with an overview of the likely impact of climate change on biodiversity in the European Union and indications as to how the design and implementation of current policy might need to be adapted in order to ensure that the EU respects its commitment to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010 and beyond.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.
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
Deforestation is a main driver of climate change and biodiversity loss. An incentive mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) is being negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Here we use the best available global data sets on terrestrial biodiversity and carbon storage to map and investigate potential synergies between carbon and biodiversity-oriented conservation.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This paper provides an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding relationships between carbon and biodiversity in tropical forests.Resource Type: Reports
The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) is the most comprehensive global spatial dataset on terrestrial and marine protected areas. Protected areas are internationally recognised as major tools in conserving species and ecosystems, and up to date information on protected areas is essential to fully enable conservation and development activities.Resource Type: Spatial Data / Maps
IBAT for business is an innovative tool designed to facilitate access to accurate and up-to-date biodiversity information to support critical business decisions. The tool is the result of a ground-breaking conservation partnership among BirdLife International, Conservation International (CI), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). Data are presented in spatial and tabular formats, and with simple mapping functionality. IBAT links to more detailed information and includes on-the-fly reports and outputs to support specific user needs.Resource Type: Tools / Applications
UNEP-WCMC, with support from the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), has launched a new website highlighting the potential for actions on reducing emissions from land use change to secure additional important benefits for biodiversity and ecosystem services (co-benefits). The website demonstrates the utility of spatial analyses to assist decision makers in identifying areas where high carbon, high biodiversity priority, and ecosystem service values overlap, which represent opportunities for securing co-benefits. It showcases UNEP-WCMC’s recent work with in-country partners on developing such analyses and includes an interactive mapping tool that allows users to explore the spatial relationships between carbon and co-benefits.Resource Type: Tools / Applications
This tool provides interactive maps that allow users to explore the distribution of carbon density relative to areas high in biodiversity and areas which are nationally protected for different countries around the world. Users can view layers, show or hide layer content, as well as see how the distribution of carbon and biodiversity relates to other geographical features such as rivers, coastlines, and international boundaries.Resource Type: Spatial Data / Maps
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