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Arctic biodiversity - pressures and impacts Arctic biodiversity - pressures and impacts
The Arctic plays host to a vast array of biodiversity, including many globally significant populations. Included among these are more than half of the world´s shorebird species, 80% of the global goose populations, several million reindeer and caribou, and many unique mammals, such as the polar bear. During the short summer breeding season, 279 species of birds arrive from as far away as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America to ...
01 May 2010 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Index of biodiversity potential in Central America Index of biodiversity potential in Central America
Biodiversity is vitally important to human well-being as it provides ecosystem services on which humans depend. For many species that are sensitive to even small variations in climate, their primary threat is climate change. Variations in climate affect different species of flora and fauna differently, producing, in some cases, a disruption in food chains and/or in reproductive patterns. It is therefore necessary to reduce or control greenhouse g...
22 Nov 2010 - by Nieves López Izquierdo, Associate Consultant UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Coastal Arctic food web (drift ice) Coastal Arctic food web (drift ice)
The coastal Arctic food web is closely related to drift ice conditions and seasonal use of shorelines by both terrestrial and sea mammals. Numerous species depend upon each other and the transport of food to and from the marine areas to the coast and inland. Indigenous peoples use most of the food chain and traditionally use both environments for hunting, fishing and gathering.
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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African wildlife under threat from climate change African wildlife under threat from climate change
Climate change poses a threat to wildlife because as climatic conditions change, many species may be unable to tolerate the changes. This graphic shows the numbers of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish species that are critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable in various regions of Africa and in Africa as a whole, as of 1998.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Distribution and spawning areas of four fish species Distribution and spawning areas of four fish species
Distribution and spawning areas of arctic cod, polar cod, herring and capelin in the Barents Sea region. The Barents region is in the Arctic and covers the area of Western Russia and the northern areas of Finland, Sweden and Norway.
04 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Distribution of lodgepole pine in Sweden Distribution of lodgepole pine in Sweden
Forest distribution in Scandinavia is affected by several different species. This is to demonstrate the concentration of lodgepole pine (pinus contorta) in Sweden. The lodgepole pine is a tall, slender tree with a narrow loose crown reaching up to 80 feet tall.
04 Oct 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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The Living Planet Index measures trends in the abundance of species for which data is available The Living Planet Index measures trends in the abundance of species for which data is available
This indicator has been adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity to measure progress towards the 2010 target
28 Mar 2006 - by Bounford.com and UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Routes for exports of illegally logged ramin timber in Indonesia Routes for exports of illegally logged ramin timber in Indonesia
Ramin, Gonystylus sp., is a group of tropical hardwood species in South East Asia, listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list, and the trade of the timber is regulated under CITES. Illegal logging of these species is common in Indonesia, even in protected areas. The timber is transported to sawmills in Indonesia and Malaysia and further exported to destinations in Asia, North America, Europe and elsewhere. Final market prices might amount to as hi...
22 Jan 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Fishing yield Fishing yield
Three-quarters of the world’s fish stocks are currently exploited to the maximum extent, if not in excess (FAO, 2000). This exploitation has had the following impacts: - A growing variety of fishery products are being exploited. Commercial fishermen are targeting progressively smaller species at lower levels of the food chain because the main predator species are being depleted. - Most of the world’s main fishing areas are close to full exploit...
26 Jan 2009 - by Phillippe Rekacewicz, February 2006
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Tigris and Euphrates rivers fragmentation Tigris and Euphrates rivers fragmentation
It has been predicted that access to water will create conflict between countries. In Africa, central Asia, west Asia and the Americas, some countries are already arguing fiercely over access to rivers and inland seas, and confrontations could arise as water shortages grow (Gleick, 2000). Countries currently or potentially involved in international disputes over access to river water and aquifers include: - Turkey, Syria and Iraq (the Tigris and...
26 Jan 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz
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Fish diversity in freshwater systems Fish diversity in freshwater systems
Although freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and wetlands occupy less than 2% of the earth’s total land surface, they provide a wide range of habitats for a significant proportion of the world’s plant and animal species. Many are yet to be discovered, but the number of freshwater species worldwide is estimated at between 9,000 and 25,000 (Cosgrove and Rijsberman, 2000). However, this number is rapidly decreasing due to human interference....
26 Jan 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz
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Planet index 2007 for marine species population Planet index 2007 for marine species population
The Marine Species Population Index provides an assessment of the average changeover time in the populations of 217 species of marine mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. The index represents the average value of six regional ocean indices. More pronounced declines are seen in the southern oceans, attributed to the fact that major losses and degradation of marine ecosystems in the industrialized world took place prior to 1970. Marine species are ...
26 Jan 2009 - by GRID-Arendal
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Coral reefs at risks Coral reefs at risks
There are two distinct regions in which coral reefs are primarily distributed: the Wider Caribbean (Atlantic Ocean) and the Indo-Pacific (from East Africa and the Red Sea to the Central Pacific Ocean). - The diversity of coral is far greater in the Indo-Pacific, particularly around Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. Many other groups of marine fauna show similar patterns, with a much greater diversity in the Indo-Pacific region. ...
26 Jan 2009 - by Phillippe Rekacewicz, February 2006
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Biological oxygen demand - BOD: 1976-2008 Biological oxygen demand - BOD: 1976-2008
The availability of oxygen is one of the most important indicators of the condition of a water body, because dissolved oxygen, or DO, (the amount of oxygen dissolved in water) is necessary for most aquatic organisms, including fish and invertebrates. Some species have very defined lower limits of DO that they can tolerate. Increases in DO can indicate improvements in water quality, such as has occurred in many parts of the world in the last 30 ye...
26 Jan 2009 - by Phillippe Rekacewicz, February 2006
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The WWF living planet index for freshwater The WWF living planet index for freshwater
'The over-exploitation and mismanagement of fisheries, particularly when combined with other man-made stresses, can lead to the collapse of regional fish faunas. In many countries, aquaculture is rapidly increasing in response to declining natural fisheries, often exacerbating the degradation of inland and coastal ecosystems through habitat alteration, pollution and the introduction of alien species' (Revenga et al., 1998). The Freshwater Specie...
26 Jan 2009 - by GRID-Arendal
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Damming the world Damming the world
The construction of large dams - defined as those with walls at least 15 metres high - has increased significantly over the past 50 years. The average height of new dams, estimated at 30-34 m from 1940-1990, increased to about 45 m in the 1990s, due largely to construction trends in Asia. The average area and volume of freshwater reservoirs have also steadily increased, rising to about 50 km2 between 1945 and1970, declining through the 1980s to 1...
26 Jan 2009 - by Phillippe Rekacewicz, February 2006
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Marine species diversity Marine species diversity
Limited information is available on species diversity and the condition of coastal and marine ecosystems (Burke et al., 2001). There is growing evidence that many marine species are less widely distributed, and therefore more vulnerable to extinction, than previously thought (GESAMP, 2001a). The protection and sustainable use of marine resources and biodiversity are governed by several international conventions, including the Convention on Biolog...
26 Jan 2009 - by World Resource Institute (WRI), Washington Dc, 1998, based on data from UNEP-WCMC.
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Sea Ice Anomaly in Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly in Northern Hemisphere
Arctic sea-ice reductions have significant impacts on climate, wildlife and communities. The opening of open water across the Arctic ocean will have unknown consequences in terms of changes in water circulation and redistribution of species from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. As sea ice coverage declines, albedo diminishes and more radiation is absorbed by the sea water, in a feed-back process that enhances warming and melting sea ice.
06 Oct 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Species Turnover Species Turnover
Change in the initial species richness in 2005 relative to 2001-2005 average (high-range climate change scenario). Studies predict species invasion will be profound in the Arctic and Southern Oceans. Among others these changes could result in a significant turnover of species of more than 60% of present biodiversity. This has the potential to disrupt a range of marine ecosystem services including food provisioning.
06 Oct 2009 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Working for Water employment Working for Water employment
The Working for Water programme was launched in 1995 and is administered through the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. The programme works in partnership with local communities which it provides with jobs, and also with government departments including the then Departments of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Agriculture, and Trade and Industry, provincial departments of agriculture, conservation and environment, research foundations and...
01 Nov 2011 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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