This synthesis focuses on estimates of biodiversity change as projected for the 21st century by models or extrapolations based on experiments and observed trends. The term “biodiversity” is used in a broad sense as it is defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity to mean the abundance and distributions of and interactions between genotypes, species, communities, ecosystems and biomes. This synthesis pays particular attention to the interactions between biodiversity and ecosystem services and to critical “tipping points” that could lead to large, rapid and potentially irreversible changes. Comparisons between models are used to estimate the range of projections and to identify sources of uncertainty. Experiments and observed trends are used to check the plausibility of these projections. In addition we have identified possible actions at the local, national and international levels that can be taken to conserve biodiversity. We have called on a wide range of scientists to participate in this synthesis, with the objective to provide decision makers with messages that reflect the consensus of the scientific community and that will aid in the development of policy and management strategies that are ambitious, forward looking and proactive.Resource Type: Reports
The success of protected areas as a tool for conservation is based around the assumption that they are managed to protect the values that they contain. To be effective, management should be tailored to the particular demands of the site, given that each protected area has a variety of biological and social characteristics, pressures and uses. Achieving effective management is not an easy task – it requires adopting appropriate management objectives and governance systems, adequate and appropriate resourcing and the timely implementation of appropriate management strategie and processes. It is unlikely to be achieved fully without an approach to management that is inquiring an reflective – that seeks to understand how effective the current management regime is and how it could be improved. Information on management effectiveness is thus a cornerstone of good management.
In 2008 UNEP-WCMC produced a report with a consortium of Chinese and international partners on research needs for reducing poverty through better ecosystem management in China. This work was for DFID, NERC and ESRC of the UK government, as a contribution to their design of a proposed international research programme on ecosystem services for poverty alleviation (www.nerc.ac.uk/research/programmes/espa/) The China ESPA report identified that China’s great progress in poverty reduction has slowed, as the remaining poor tend to be found in environments of low productivity or high risk of ecosystem degradation, such as mountains, grasslands and deserts. The government of China is investing heavily in poverty reduction and environmental management, with opportunities for improving the synergies between these activities. Research needs include better understanding of ecosystem functioning for multiple services, and development of methods to analyse policies and projects for both poverty reduction and supply of ecosystem services.Resource Type: Reports
The deep sea is the oldest and largest biome on Earth, yet we have little knowledge of the ecosystems and processes in these dark, hidden depths. Only in the last two decades have new technologies enabled scientists to start exploring this last frontier – and their discoveries are fascinating but alarming: the deep sea is teeming with life but is already showing clear signs of anthropogenic impacts despite its remoteness. Many vulnerable deep-sea habitats and communities are being destroyed by fishing and are under threat from increasing exploitation of their mineral and living resources.Resource Type: Reports
At UNFCCC COP14 UNEP-WCMC released Carbon and biodiversity: a demonstration atlas (Kapos et al. 2008). Using global datasets on carbon storage in terrestrial ecosystems and areas of high priority for biodiversity conservation, this publication illustrated the potential of spatial analyses to assist decision-makers in identifying areas where reducing emissions from land use change could at the same time help to secure biodiversity benefits.
However, to support planning and decision-making at national and sub-national scales, such analyses must be based on data developed at an appropriate scale and should be done in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders to help prioritise among the different benefits and services under consideration.
This report presents data and analyses on areas of high carbon density and high priority for biodiversity in Jiangxi Province, China. The degree of their overlap with protected areas is assessed, and their relationship to the distribution of human population is explored.Resource Type: Reports
In 2003, UNEP and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO published 'A survey of global and regional marine environmental assessments and related scientific activities' in response to the call of the UN General Assembly (Resolution 57/141) and the Heads of States and Governments at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to establish a regular process for the global reporting and assessment of the state of the marine environment. Today, the urgency to understand the state and functioning of our oceans is even greater than ever. In December 2006, the 61st session of the United nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution (A/RES/61/222) on Oceans and the Law of the Sea, renewing the commitment of Member Stats to support the implementation of the start-up phase: the Assessment of Assessments of the Regular Process.Resource Type: Reports
The Checklist of CITES Species provides the official list of CITES-listed species (scientific names) and their associated scientific synonyms; common names in English, French and Spanish (where available) and the CITES Appendix in which they are currently listed. Information on historical Appendix listings, reservations and level of listing (e.g. if a whole family or order is listed) is also available through this website.
Resource Type: Reports
This Manual makes the methods of the MA and associated sub-global (local and regional) assessments widely accessible. While the MA is the most comprehensive assessment of ecosystems carried out to date, there are other related assessment processes such as Global Environment Outlook (GEO), Global International Waters Assessment (GIWA), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA), International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) and World Water Assessment. Lessons learned from these assessments supplement the best practice of ecosystem assessment identified through the MA. The publication of this Manual aims to encourage more assessments at scales which are relevant to policy and decision makers.
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