1. Expert workshop on enhancing biodiversity data and observation systems

    17/10/2013

    As part of the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON), UNEP-WCMC contributed to the organisation of an expert workshop on enhancing biodiversity data and observation systems to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020. UNEP-WCMC played a significant role in the workshop, most notably through the presentation of a recent review on the use of remotely-sensed data for monitoring biodiversity change and tracking progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The key findings from the workshop will play a significant role in shaping discussions on scientific and technical needs at the 17th meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA).

    Read more...

  2. A new resource: A-Z of Biodiversity Terms

    14/10/2013

    The A-Z of Biodiversity Terms glossary is a new resource to support greater consistency in the use of terms and definitions related to biodiversity. It aims to provide clarity for practitioners implementing biodiversity management, particularly those doing so in the context of global conventions, standards, regulations, policies and legislation. The A-Z of Biodiversity Terms was developed by UNEP-WCMC and supported by the Proteus Partnership, IPIECA, The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICCM).

    Read more...

  3. Issue 5 of the SGA Network's quarterly newsletter, ‘SGANews,’ is now available

    14/10/2013

    Issue 5 of the Sub-Global Assessment (SGA) Network's quarterly newsletter, ‘SGANews,’ has just been released and is now available online. A special edition, this issue includes news from the 6th annual international Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP) conference; as well as a selection of interesting updates, future dates and locations of various workshops and meetings, and publications from our Network members. Following the review  of comments submitted by contributing stakeholders and governments, carried out by the IPBES Bureau and Multidisciplinary Expert Panel, a provisional agenda  for the IPBES-2 isnow available while other working documents will be accessible shortly. 

    Read more...

  4. New tool helps local people put a value on Nature’s services

    3/10/2013

    Protected areas and other sites of biodiversity importance often provide significant benefits to people in the form of ecosystem services such as food, clean water and climate regulation. But the value of these services is rarely recognised when land-use decisions are made, for example, to log a forest or drain a wetland. Demonstrating nature’s value in economic terms often carries weight with decision makers, and can lead to better-informed decisions that support biodiversity conservation.
    BirdLife International, Cambridge, Southampton and Anglia Ruskin Universities, the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre are among 15 institutions that have jointly developed an innovative approach to putting a value on ecosystem services: The Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment (TESSA). Now authors from the collaborating institutions have published an overview of TESSA in the journal Ecosystem Services, including examples of how it has been applied at sites around the world.

    Read more...

  5. Why social research matters

    11/9/2013

    Despite efforts to integrate social science into conservation research, the role of social research in conservation remains a major source of misunderstanding. In a new paper called ‘Social Research and Biodiversity Conservation’ published this week in Conservation Biology, UNEP-WCMC staff member Chris Sandbrook and his co-authors seek to contribute to better interdisciplinary communication and understanding. They describe two different ways in which conservation social science is framed: research for conservation and research on conservation.

    Read more...

  6. New Head of Impact Strategy appointed

    28/8/2013

     We are delighted to announce that Louisa Wood has recently been appointed as the new Head of Impact Strategy at UNEP-WCMC. Louisa has previously worked with us as Head of Programme for Marine Assessment and Decision Support, and now moves on to bring her interests and skills to focus on Impact Strategy across the Centre. The overall purpose of Louisa’s role is to take a lead in improving our understanding and achievement of impact, whilst enhancing reputational, relationship, and risk management across UNEP-WCMC.

    Read more...

  7. Brian MacSharry features on UNEP’s “Ask an Expert”

    27/8/2013

     Brian MacSharry, senior programme officer in the Protected Areas Programme, is currently being featured on the “Ask an Expert” page on the UNEP website from 26th – 28th August. “Ask an Expert” is an online feature that allows people to interact with and ask questions to different experts each day in order to inform the public about environmental issues and sustainability of natural resources. It also gives internal experts a chance to discuss the work that UNEP carries out, taking into account views from international constituents and stakeholders.

    Read more...

  8. New Publications from our Science Team

    14/8/2013

    Two publications have been released this month, both co-authored by Derek Tittensor, a member of UNEP-WCMC’s Science Team. Mora et al’s (2013) Comment on “Can we name Earth’s species before they go extinct?” has been published in Science (2013, vol. 341, no. 6143, p. 237) and is a reply to a paper by Costello et al released earlier this year, in which the rate of species extinctions is compared to the rate of species description. Derek’s new publication argues that their conclusions were too optimistic, and that many more species will likely become extinct before they are discovered.

    Read more...

  9. Paper on the effects of human impact on biodiversity in Uganda published

    14/8/2013

    Marieke Sassen, Programme Officer for Ecosystem Assessment, has co-authored a paper entitled “Human impacts on forest structure and species richness on the edges of a protected mountain forest in Uganda.” Marieke has particular expertise in this area of work; she has nearly completed her PhD at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, on forest cover change on Mt Elgon, Uganda, having worked for the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Cameroon and Gabon previously.

    Read more...

  10. Questioning the relationship between evidence and policy in conservation

    13/8/2013

    Chris Sandbrook, Lecturer in Conservation Leadership and member of the Conventions and Policy Support programme at UNEP-WCMC, and Bill Adams, from the University of Cambridge, have written a Forum article in Oryx entitled “Conservation, evidence and policy.” Their paper is about evidence-based conservation, which has rapidly established itself as an important concept in conservation. The paper focuses on the definition of ‘evidence’ and how such ‘evidence’ is connected to the policy-making process. Adams and Sandbrook suggest that qualitative data and local and indigenous knowledge should play an important role in evidence-based conservation alongside quantitative data generated by formal science. They also argue that policy making is not straightforward, and good evidence does not necessarily result in good decisions, particularly in complex issues that have social and political dimensions. The paper concludes with a call for a transition to evidence-informed conservation, which would recognise a broader range of sources of evidence and that many conservation decisions should be the result of deliberation and not just based on evidence.

     

    Read more...