Global Biodiversity: Indicators of Recent Declines

United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, UK.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 05/2010; 328(5982):1164-8. DOI: 10.1126/science.1187512
Source: PubMed


In 2002, world leaders committed, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, to achieve a significant reduction in the
rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. We compiled 31 indicators to report on progress toward this target. Most indicators of
the state of biodiversity (covering species’ population trends, extinction risk, habitat extent and condition, and community
composition) showed declines, with no significant recent reductions in rate, whereas indicators of pressures on biodiversity
(including resource consumption, invasive alien species, nitrogen pollution, overexploitation, and climate change impacts)
showed increases. Despite some local successes and increasing responses (including extent and biodiversity coverage of protected
areas, sustainable forest management, policy responses to invasive alien species, and biodiversity-related aid), the rate
of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing.

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Available from: Marc Hockings
    • "The planet is currently undergoing its sixth great extinction event (Chapin et al., 2000; Butchart et al., 2010; Dirzo et al., 2014; Tittensor et al., 2014). Species loss is occurring at a rate of two or more orders of magnitude greater than before the Anthropocene (Pimm et al., 1995), and humans and their domesticated animals currently account for >97% of terrestrial vertebrate biomass (Smil, 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: Recently it has been estimated that one third of biodiversity threats are driven by consumer demand from outside the country in which the threat occurs. This occurs when the production of export goods exerts pressure on vulnerable populations. While population biologists have in cases been able to establish links between species threats and the causative industry(s), little has been done to trace this biodiversity footprint from the directly implicated industry out to final consumers, a step that would open a wider variety of policy responses. Here we investigate the suitability of multi-region input-output (MRIO) analysis for tracing out links between particular species threats, directly implicated industries, and the countries and consumer goods sectors ultimately driving these industries. Environmentally extended MRIO models are understood to provide reliable results at a macroeconomic level but uncertainty increases as the models are used to investigate individual sectors, companies, and products. In this study we examine several case studies (nickel mining in New Caledonia, coltan from the Democratic Republic of Congo, cut flowers from Kenya, and forestry in Papua New Guinea) in order to understand how and when MRIO techniques can be useful for studying biodiversity implicated supply chains. The study was conducted using the Eora global input-output database that documents >5 billion global supply chains. Calculating the biodiversity footprint at this level of detail, between specific threats, supply chains, and consumer goods, has not been done before. These case studies provide interesting insights in their own right and also serve to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of using input-output analysis techniques to calculate detailed biodiversity footprints. We conclude that MRIO analysis, while no panacea, can be useful for outlining supply chains and identifying which consumption sectors and trade and transformation steps can be subjected to closer analysis in order to enable remedial action.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2016 · Ecological Indicators
    • "While global biodiversity is rapidly declining (Butchart et al., 2010), efficient methods are needed for biodiversity assessment at all scales to provide adequate information for biodiversity conservation and management. This is especially true in the tropics, where most biodiversity is found (Gaston, 2000 ) and where species diversity and its significance to the ecosystems are poorly understood (Milliken et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: With the ongoing global biodiversity loss, approaches to measuring and monitoring biodiversity are necessary for effective conservation planning, especially in tropical forests. Remote sensing has much potential for biodiversity mapping, and high spatial resolution imaging spectroscopy (IS) allows for direct prediction of tree species diversity based on spectral reflectance. The objective of this study was to test an approach for mapping tree species alpha diversity that takes advantage of an unsupervised object-based clustering. Tree species diversity of a tropical montane forest in the Taita Hills, Kenya, was mapped based on spectral variation of high spatial resolution IS data.
    No preview · Article · May 2016 · Ecological Indicators
    • "Moreover, the issues of climate change and biodiversity are interlinked. Climate change is expected to negatively affect biodiversity as it implies, for example, large geographic displacements and widespread extinctions (Butchart et al., 2010; Dawson et al., 2011). Vice versa, a loss of biodiversity may accelerate climate change (e.g. through land use change). "
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    ABSTRACT: The expectations on protected areas to deliver not only biodiversity conservation but also to provide an array of different ecosystem services rise. Sequestration and storage of carbon are promising services that protected areas may provide. This study integrates spatially explicit data on terrestrial Natura 2000 sites, soil organic carbon, and agricultural land values to estimate the potential for climate-smart conservation planning in the European Union. The objectives of this study are to analyse spatial relations between protected areas soil carbon content, and land values on the European Union's land area as well as to locate and quantify the proportion of land with high carbon and low economic value within and outside protected areas. We apply a unique interdisciplinary framework with methods ranging from analyses based on geographical information systems, agricultural economics to statistics. Findings indicate that there is a significant overlap between Natura 2000 sites and regions with high carbon content across Europe. Statistical analyses show that carbon-rich regions have significantly lower land values than other areas. Our results suggest that biodiversity protection and mitigation of climate change through conservation of soil carbon could be simultaneously achieved in Europe's protected areas and beyond. We conclude that there is a notable potential for climate-smart conservation in Europe that needs further investigation.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2016 · Environmental Science & Policy
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