Mountain Watch: environmental change & sustainable development in mountains

UNEP-WCMC Biodiversity Series 12

This report provides the first map-based overview of environmental change in mountain regions and its implications for sustainable development. New global maps illustrate selected values of mountain ecosystems and many of the pressures that are causing environmental change. A range of case studies illustrates how environmental assessments can inform the sustainable development of mountain regions. Mountain environments cover 27 per cent of the Earth's land surface and directly support 22 per cent of the people who live within them. Lowland people also depend on mountain environments for a wide range of goods and services, for example, water, energy, timber, biodiversity maintenance and opportunities for recreation and spiritual renewal. Mountain people face an environment where everyday physical demands are great, natural hazards are significant, and agricultural production is constrained.

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Mangroves of East Africa

UNEP-WCMC Biodiversity Series 13

This publication provides a concise account of the available information and current issues facing mangroves in East African countries. It comprises a regional summary of the factors and activities that affect mangroves across East Africa, and a series of reports that focus on South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania, the Seychelles, Kenya and Somalia. These country summaries include details of mangrove-related legislation, industries associated with and involving mangroves, and details of how mangroves are utilized by local human communities. Information on marine protected areas that cover mangroves is also provided as are regional and national scale maps.

The project was carried out with the UNEP-GPA and sponsored by the Government of Ireland.

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Bamboo Biodiversity: Information for Planning Conservation and Management in the Asia-Pacific Region

UNEP-WCMC Biodiversity Series 14

Bamboos are distinct and fascinating plants, with a wide range of values and uses. They play a significant role in biodiversity conservation and contribute to soil and water management. They are important for biomass production and play an increasing role in local and world economies. This study used an innovative approach to map potential current distibutions of nearly 1 000 individual bamboo species that occur naturally within remaining forests of the Asia-Pacific region. The maps were also combined to generate regional maps showing potential species and generic richness. By quantifying the area of forest cover remaining within each species' range, this study shows that more than 400 bamboo species are potentially threatened by the destruction of natural forest cover. Conservation and sustainable management of wild populations of bamboo should be high priority, especially where diversity is high or deforestation is a significant threat.

A joint project between UNEP-WCMC and INBAR (International Network for Bamboo and Rattan).

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Towards a Global Tree Conservation Atlas

UNEP-WCMC Biodiversity Series 15

This summary document outlines the need for spatial data on tree species as a tool for conservation action. It introduces plans for a tree species mapping programme that will build on the forest mapping information management expertise of UNEP-WCMC. A Global Tree Conservation Atlas will be one of the main outputs of the Global Trees Campaign (http://www.globaltrees.org) . The Campaign focuses on trees as flagship species for conservation of ecosystems and landscapes, and enables local people to carry out rescue and sustainable use operations. Working in partnership with organizations around the globe, the Global Trees Campaign aims to save the world's most threatened tree species and their habitats through information, conservation and wise use.

The Campaign is a partnership between Fauna & Flora International and UNEP-WCMC.

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Global Marine Assessments

UNEP-WCMC Biodiversity Series 16

The world's oceans provide goods, services and functions fundamental to the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Planning for their sustainable use requires a more detailed understanding of the marine environment than is available at present: an understanding that will only become possible through improved levels of monitoring and assessment. This publication is the result of inter-agency and national government collaboration. It represents part of UNEP's contribution to evaluating the feasibility of establishing a Global Marine Assessment, a process that would regularly report on the state of the marine environment. The report presents a snapshot of assessments and related scientific activities that were in progress at the end of 2002. It considers and recommends various ways in which a future Global Marine Assessment process could integrate these activities, and identifies the thematic and geographical gaps that need to be addressed.

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From Ocean to Aquarium: the global trade in marine ornamental species

UNEP-WCMC Biodiversity Series 17

With the total value of the marine ornamental trade amounting to as much as US$330 million a year and an estimated 2 million people worldwide keeping marine aquaria, the industry plays a significant role in both source and destination countries. Tropical coral reefs are the most important source of specimens for the aquarium trade - mainly fish, including seahorses, the corals themselves, and others such as anemones, starfish and giant clams. Almost all marine aquarium species are taken from the wild, with few examples of captive breeding. Most originate from Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia. From Ocean to Aquarium presents a brief overview of how the trade functions and the impacts it has on coral reefs, as well as on the human communities that derive an income from trading in marine ornamental species. It is with this in mind that organizations are working together to ensure the future for coral reefs, their animals and the aquarium trade.

From Ocean to Aquarium is the product of a collaboration between UNEP-WCMC, the Marine Aquarium Council (MAC) and the industry itself. It is the first of its kind, examining issues surrounding the trade of live coral, fish and invertebrates for the marine aquarium trade, and presenting a comprehensive and independent synthesis of related information.

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Bamboo Biodiversity: Africa, Madagascar and the Americas

UNEP-WCMC Biodiversity Series 19

This study used an innovative approach to map potential current distributions of nearly 400 individual bamboo species that occur naturally within the remaining forests of Africa, Madagascar and the Americas. The maps were also combined to generate regional maps showing potential species and generic richness. By quantifying the area of forest cover remaining within each species’ range, this analysis shows that over half the species studied are potentially threatened by the destruction of natural forest cover. The situation is particularly alarming in Madagascar, where the woody bamboos are all endemic and 75 per cent of them have only very small amounts of forest remaining within their ranges. Conservation and sustainable management of wild populations of bamboo should be a priority in all three regions, especially where diversity is high or deforestation is a significant threat. This report contributes to implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, which aims to halt the current and continuing loss of plant diversity.

A joint project between UNEP-WCMC and INBAR (International Network for Bamboo and Rattan).

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Cloud Forest Agenda

UNEP-WCMC Biodiversity Series 20

The Cloud Forest Agenda report is designed to stimulate new initiatives and partnerships for the conservation and restoration of tropical montane cloud forests around the world.

The report provides the first global maps of cloud forests, alongside information on their biodiversity and watershed importance, and a regional analysis of the threats to cloud forests. It concludes with an agenda for action, identifying global to national priorities and opportunities.

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Protected Areas and Biodiversity: an overview of key issues

UNEP-WCMC Biodiversity Series 21

This publication synthesizes key aspects in the development of protected areas, the level of international commitment and the relationship of protected areas to sustainable development, and reviews critical issues related to their effectiveness. Protected areas are such a significant factor in the planet's natural resource allocation that they are important indicators in global environment monitoring. Recognition of the importance of participatory approaches and the values of community-conserved areas has also increased significantly. A more holistic approach to conservation and development is being promoted through the application of ecological networks and bioregional planning concepts.

This publication has been compiled by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and UNEP-WCMC as an input to the Seventh Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD.

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Cold-water Coral Reefs: out of sight - no longer out of mind

UNEP-WCMC Biodiversity Series 22

This report presents comprehensive and up-to-date information and data on marine cold-water coral reefs from around the world. Cold-water Coral Reefs: out of sight - no longer out of mind aims to provide policy makers with the information required to take concerted action in the conservation, protection and sustainable management of these beautiful, largely unexplored and fragile coral reefs.

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