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
This eight volume series, developed for use by decision-makers, mid-career professionals, and interested parties, reviews the issues and processes involved in the management of biodiversity information to support the conservation and sustainable use of living resources. They also provide a framework for the development of national plans and strategies and for meeting reporting obligations of international programmes and conventions.Resource Type: Reports
With a view to the future, the book points the reader to the Mountain Biodiversity Portal (http://www.mountainbiodiversity.org) that has just been launched by the GMBA and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). This tool has the potential to greatly facilitate access to mountain biodiversity data because it allows users to find GBIF data for specific elevational and thermal belts within their region of interest. A very similar tool already allows users of the World Database on Protected Areas (http://www.wdpa.org) to find GBIF data for a protected area of interest. Thanks to these collaborative efforts, researchers will increasingly get the data they require without the need to carry out time-consuming overlays of species and other data sets for their region of interest. The GMBA/GBIF Mountain Biodiversity Portal is a fine example for the technical possibilities of our time and will certainly help to further stimulate the creative use of georeferenced biodiversity data promoted by this book.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The Atlas begins with contributions from experts in many geographical fields, providing detailed information on the key issues facing the world today - climate change, environmental threats, global communications, biodiversity and energy resources - with supporting maps, images, photographs and graphics to illustrate the physical world today and man's interaction with it.
For this new edition, all the maps and detailed thematic information are updated with the latest geographical and geo-political changes - these include an estimated 20,000 updates with 3,500 changes to place names and are illustrated with the latest satellite imagery.
The study reviews the situation regarding Protected Area extent, legal status and management constraints in each country and territory of East Asia, using a regional review and gap analysis by applying a simple GIS overlay approach. The WDPA has available a near complete GIS cover of PAs in the region and most large PAs are represented by polygons (boundary information). A few large PAs and many very small PAs are represented by circles of correct area around known centre points of the PAs held in the database.
As the importance of mountain spaces is more widely recogised, it seems necessary to establish a coherent definition of these spaces. The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) proposed the first global delineation in 2000. However, certain European countries have used national definitions of mountain spaces since the 1950s. Within the framework of social and economic integration policies at the heart of the European Union, an agreed delineation of European mountain spaces has been established, based on the definition proposed by UNEP-WCMC. The process of adaptation of the global definition to the European context is described, as well as the results for 29 European countries.Resource Type: Journal Papers
There are several things environmental managers need to know for a practical understanding. For instance:
What exactly does the information from a particular satellite sensor represent?
How can this information be translated into a useful indicator?
What are the common indicators associated with each major biome?
What range of accuracy might one expect from a particular remotely sensed indicator, and what
conditions affect this accuracy?
We address these and other questions while presenting the overall role that remote sensing can play for developing and monitoring biodiversity indicators relevant to various strategic components of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).Resource Type: Reports
Although Asian bamboo species constitute a non-timber forest product of major cultural and economic importance, no detailed regional assessment of their distribution patterns has previously been made. To assess the potential of the existing bamboo species distribution data for production of regional mapping tools for planning the conservation of forest-based biodiversity, data on bamboo distribution and forest cover were combined. Over 1000 bamboo species from 60 genera of woody bamboos were incorporated, allowing the mapping of individual species or groups of species and genera, along with potential species richness and biodiversity hotspots. Over 6.3 million km2 of Asian forest potentially contains bamboo, with highest densities indicated from northeastern India through Burma to southern China, and through Sumatra to Borneo. The highest figures for potential species richness (144 spp per square km) were recorded in forests of south China, including Hainan Island. Despite substantial inadequacies and inconsistencies in knowledge of the taxonomy and distribution of bamboo species, this approach may provide a valuable tool for planning in situ conservation of forest biodiversity.Resource Type: Journal Papers
Global and regional coral reef area statistics are of considerable value in fields ranging from global environmental change to fisheries to conservation. Although widely quoted, Smith's 1978 figure of 600 000rkm2 is only an approximate calculation. The World Conservation Monitoring Centre has prepared a new estimate of reef coverage by mapping emergent reef crest and very shallow reef systems. These data were rasterised, using 1rkm grid squares, as a means of reducing errors arising from variation in scale. Global and regional reef coverages were calculated from the resultant grid. The total global area is estimated at 255 000rkm2, considerably lower than many previous estimates. Variation in reef area estimates is, in part, a function of variation in reef definition.Resource Type: Journal Papers
The countries affected by the 2004 Asian tsunami contain the most diverse and extensive coral reefs and mangroves of the Indian Ocean, and some of the richest in the world. Not only are these ecosystems among the most threatened in the world, they also provide numerous essential ecosystem services.
It is thus not surprising that reefs and mangroves received widespread attention after the tsunami, with three principal questions posed: Are the tsunami's impacts on reefs and mangroves a further threat to their future survival? Did reefs and mangroves play a role in shoreline protection and reduce structural damage and human mortality? How could reconstruction efforts include actions to maintain these ecosystems and reduce further threats to them?Resource Type: Journal Papers
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