Marine conservation lags behind terrestrial in the establishment of protected areas. This was recognized by the Convention on Biological Diversity, whose members, in 2004, agreed to establish “comprehensive, effectively managed, and ecologically representative” systems of marine protected areas (MPAs) by 2012. Halfway toward this target date, we look at the coverage of the world’s 5045 MPAs from a biogeographic perspective.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The CBD target "to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss" was incorporated into the Millennium Development Goals in 2002. Our lack of progress toward the 2010 target could undermine achievement of the MDGs and poverty reduction in the long term. With increasing global challenges, such as population growth, climate change, and overconsumption of ecosystem services, we need further integration of the poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation agendas.
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
Sustainability requires living within the regenerative capacity of the biosphere. In an attempt to measure the extent to which humanity satisfies this requirement, we use existing data to translate human demand on the environment into the area required for the production of food and other goods, together with the absorption of wastes. Our accounts indicate that human demand may well have exceeded the biosphere's regenerative capacity since the 1980s. According to this preliminary and exploratory assessment, humanity's load corresponded to 70% of the capacity of the global biosphere in 1961, and grew to 120% in 1999.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Climate change is expected to alter the distribution of habitats and thus the distribution of species connected with these habitats in the terrestrial Barents Sea region. It was hypothesised that wild species connected with the tundra and open-land biome may be particularly at risk as forest area expands. Fourteen species of birds were identified as useful indicators for the biodiversity dependent upon this biome.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Assessments of forest biodiversity - the diversity within forest species, between species and of forest ecosystems - are essential if forest resources are to be effectively conserved and sustainably managed (Hunter, 1999). Assessments are needed to provide information necessary to support biodiversity-related decision-making in forest policy and management. However, assessment of forest biodiversity presents a number of challenges. First, because of the complexity of biodiversity, information about it needs to be assembled and expressed based on simplified variables, typically in the form of indicators (Noss, 1990, 1999). Second, since decisions relating to forests are made at a variety of scales, biodiversity data and indicators need to be aggregated across different scales for monitoring and reporting purposes (Noss, 1990; Turner, 1995).Resource Type: Journal Papers
The GLOBIO3 model has been developed to assess human-induced changes in biodiversity, in the past, present, and future at regional and global scales. The model is built on simple cause–effect relationships between environmental drivers and biodiversity impacts, based on state-of-the-art knowledge. The mean abundance of original species relative to their abundance in undisturbed ecosystems (MSA) is used as the indicator for biodiversity.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This paper presents a trial of a species population trend indicator for evaluating progress towards the 2010 biodiversity target in Europe, using existing data. The indicator integrates trends on different species (groups), and can be aggregated across habitats and countries. Thus, the indicator can deliver both headline messages for high-level decision-making and detailed information for in-depth analysis, using data from different sources, collected with different methods.Resource Type: Journal Papers
This paper reviews the current global extent of protected areas in terms of geopolitical and habitat coverage, and considers their value as a global indicator of conservation action or response. The paper discusses the role of the World Database on Protected Areas and collection and quality control issues, and identifies areas for improvement, including how conservation effectiveness indicators may be included in the database to improve the value of protected areas data as an indicator for meeting global biodiversity targets.Resource Type: Journal Papers
At the 9th meeting of the SBSTTA of the CBD a recommendation was made to begin testing of five biodiversity indicators in order to measure progress towards the 2010 target. This paper considers one of these indicators for Pan-Europe. The basic principle of the index is to calculate the average trend in abundance of a set of ecosystem-representative species. The index is considered to be generic, i.e. applicable to all ecosystem types including forests. It can produce both headline messages for high-level policy and communication, and detailed information for in-depth analysis. This paper describes the conceptual framework of the index and explores the data availability for the index in Pan-Europe.Resource Type: Journal Papers
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