Methods reviews on mapping biodiversity, ecosystem services and agricultural suitability, using land-use change models and developing future scenarios
Videos (watch 3,4,5,7, and 10)
Two free webinars:
Biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Great Lakes of East Central Africa, the Greater Mekong and its Headwaters, and the Watersheds of the Andes support millions of people and all sectors of the national economies. All three regions overlap with parts of the world’s major biodiversity hotspots. In all three regions, there is also a strong push for economic development, mainly based on natural resources, putting ecosystems increasingly under threat from commodity-driven transformation, whilst the capacity to address these growing pressures is lagging behind.
To prioritise and focus action and develop more robust and “future proof” policies, decision-makers need knowledge and tools to help them consider the effects of potential future human-induced landscape change on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The Commodities and Biodiversity project sought to explore pressures and potential impacts of future commodity-driven scenarios of change, taking into account plausible socio-economic trends and climate change, based on regional expert input. It also aimed to use such information to support the review and strengthening of agricultural development policy in the Great Lakes of East Central Africa; the Greater Mekong and its Headwaters; and the Watersheds of the Andes.
The workshops allowed participants from different sectors of government and civil society to think about possible futures together and use the scenarios and modelled impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services to inform national planning for adaptation to climate change or agricultural development.
As a result of the scenario building workshop held in Viet Nam in 2013, Cambodia’s Climate Change Priorities Action Plan for Agriculture 2014-2018 features scenario-guided priority-setting in the face of climate change, and a strong focus on climate-smart agriculture.
In Colombia, a workshop participant on the team drafting Colombia’s Implementation Plan for the National Adaptation Strategy for Climate Change planned to present recommendations to include the perspectives of environmental organizations participating in the workshop to the ministerial team drafting the Plan.
In the Greater Mekong region, the project team contributed to WWF’’s technical input into the Investing in Natural Capital for a Sustainable Future in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), a meeting document for 4th GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting.
Finally, this project was designed to contribute to UNEP’s work on supporting “Ecosystems Management through the Landscape Approach” and is embedded as such in its Programme of Work for 2014-2017.
This work is led by Marieke Sassen who has experience in interdisciplinary research on conservation and development. Arnout van Soesbergen and Andy Arnell developed and implemented the spatial framework for assessing potential impacts of future land-use change on biodiversity.
Sarah Darrah, Yara Shennan-Farpón and Sarah Ivory provided support in scenario guided policy reviews and spatial mapping.
This work was funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. UNEP-WCMC worked with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Kassel University, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) and other partners, to develop and quantify socio-economic scenarios for each region, model scenario-driven land-use change and engage with national stakeholders and policy processes.
Additional funding by UN Environment supported development of the e-Learning modules.