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Global Priority Setting for Nature Conservation and Adaptation to Climate Change

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Lisa Biber-Freudenberger
added 8 research items
In den letzten Jahrzehnten ist vielen Wissenschaftlern und Entscheidungsträgern bewusst geworden, dass sich die diversen lokalen Entwicklungsherausforderungen im Rahmen eines Verdichtungs- und 'Entterritorialisierungs'-Prozesses zu globalisierten Problemen und Krisen aufgeschwungen haben. Eine stetig wachsende Zahl von Menschen erfreut sich der weiterhin differenzierenden Annehmlichkeiten und Freiheiten der modernen Konsum-Gesellschaft. Dies erfolgt auf der Grundlage der sich fortwährend intensivierenden und beschleunigenden Nutzung und Übernutzung von natürlichen Ressourcen. Die Folge menschlichen Reichtums ist die Armut in der Natur: Die Umwandlung von komplexen Ökosystemen wie Wäldern in einfachere Agrarökosysteme oder gar in naturferne urbane Systeme, der damit einhergehende Verlust an biologischer Vielfalt, ökologischen Funktionen und vom Menschen benötigten Ökosystemdienstleistungen, Bodenkontamination, -degradation und -verlust, Verschmutzung von Luft und Gewässern, Versauerung der Meere, Veränderung der chemischen Zusammensetzung der Atmosphäre und dadurch ausgelöster rascher Klimawandel. Die verschiedenen Krisen globaler interagierender Systeme zeigen uns letztlich die Grenzen des Wachstums auf. Die Kritik an herkömmlichen wachstumsorientierten Entwicklungsmodellen wird lauter. Welche wären eigentlich die angemessenen Konsequenzen der Wachstumskritik für die Entwicklungspolitik bzw. -zusammenarbeit?
This paper proposes the use of the more than 9000 Ecopolitical Units (EPU 9000), a combination of all national state and ecoregional borders, as means of carrying out a detailed statistical assessment of the interdependencies and linkages between biodiversity, human development and global change. To determine general linkages between the social and ecological systems a broad statistical analysis using 66 parameters related to biodiversity, environment, socioeconomics and politics was carried out. Both the statistical treatment and the mapping of selected relationships between different factors (choropleth bivariate maps) shed light on the spatial pattering of coinciding parameters. Major findings, for instance, have revealed a lack of evidence for a relationship between the distribution of carbon storage and vascular plant species richness although species richness appeared to correlate with the degree of threat to biodiversity. However, highest carbon storage was found in those regions of the world that were identified as “most intact” and, and also corresponded with lowest records for vascular plant species richness. Further analysis of the data suggested there were associations to be found between various measures of social parameters such as international trade, demographic factors and human development, and that these also correlated against the index for biodiversity. Furthermore human development and increasing wealth were associated with higher resource consumption and therefore with higher environmental costs and degradation. The findings of this study highlight a complexity of multiple factors underlying the status of global biodiversity that requires a pluralistic approach to integrative planning for biodiversity conservation and sustainable human wellbeing. In its pretext this paper recognizes that current practices in social and environmental affairs operate in isolation and this is already having a severe impact on human wellbeing and biodiversity. High export rates coupled with increasing overexploitation of nature are driving down the provisioning of ecosystem services, and this in turn is most affecting local and poor communities in developing countries. The environmental costs for the high standards of living of more developed countries are in many cases externalized and shifted towards poorer countries with high biocapacity. The more developed countries are saving their own resources due to international trade. Especially areas in the northern boreal hemisphere like Russia, Japan and northern Europe are importing agricultural products while they maintain high quantities of forest coverage. Since biodiversity and human development are constantly interacting and are mutually dependent, conservation has to be incorporated in human development policy much more consciously and actively. Equally, biodiversity conservation has to operate within the realistic expectations of social needs including growing demands on resources. The extreme effects of globalization on both ecology and social wellbeing demands a radical approach to future strategies of managing human and environmental sustainability.