Tagged on: Ecosystem management

Programme Performance Reports
UNEP Programme Performance Report 2014-2015
United Nations Environment Programme

The biennium 2014-2015 marks the end of the first half of the UNEP Medium-Term Strategy for the period 2014-2017 and the implementation of the Programme of Work for 2014-2015. UNEP’s performance review shows that as of December 2015, 70 per cent of expected accomplishments (i.e. planned outcomes) in the Programme of Work for the biennium 2014-2015 had been achieved, and 79 per cent of the targeted indicators had been achieved (see Figures 1 and 2). This result was based on a total expenditure of $795.8 million, 128.6 per cent of the biennium’s projected budget. Income exceeded the projected budget.


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2015
Reports and Books
Investing in Natural Capital for a Sustainable Future in the Greater Mekong Subregion
Asian Development Bank

Natural capital has been a key contributor to the subregion’s rapid economic growth over the past 3 decades or so. However, the subregion’s key natural capital stocks are in a state of decline. This is evident by the degradation of arable land||considerable losses in forests, wetlands, and mangroves||and many species of fauna and flora becoming endangered or even extinct. The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is poised to continue developing at a significant pace.


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2015
Reports and Books
The Economics of Land Degradation in Africa: Benefits of Action Outweigh the Costs;A complementary report to the ELD Initiative
United Nations Environment Programme

Land degradation and desertification are among of the world’s greatest environmental challenges. It is estimated that desertification affects about 33 % of the global land surface, and that over the past 40 years erosion has removed nearly one-third of the world’s arable land from production. Africa is particularly vulnerable to land degradation and desertification, and it is the most severely affected region. Desertification affects around 45 % of Africa’s land area, with 55 % of this area at high or very high risk of further degradation. It is often considered that land degradation in Africa has been vastly detrimental to agricultural ecosystems and crop production and thus an impediment in achieving food security and improving livelihoods. However, much of the literature lacks empirical underpinnings, quantifying this loss and assessing the cost of inaction, the cost of action, and benefits of action against land degradation. From the viewpoint of land degradation as a state and a process, the cost of action against land degradation includes investments to restore degraded land and reduce the rate of degradation of degrading land. This can be achieved by adopting mechanical and biological measures, and by improving land productivity. The returns to such investments are considered as benefits of action through prevention of crop damages and the derived loss in productivity. There are several other ecosystem services, on-site as well as o«-site, but due to the lack of data availability we were constrained in estimating the comprehensive benefits of action. Of course the loss in productivity and hence the benefit of action would vary based on the state and process of land degradation. The overarching aim of this exercise is to assess the cost of inaction and benefit of taking action by countries to address erosion induced soil nutrient depletion as a part of land degradation in arable lands used for cereal production. By providing continental level empirical analysis of a cropland area of 105 million hectares (accounting for 45 % of total arable land in the continent) across 42 countries in Africa over a span of 15 years (starting from 2016), the fundamental objective is to align empirical data and economic valuation to help inform policy decisions in the future. The report reviews the regional level data on the economic costs of soil erosion related to land degradation. It also analyzes the limitations and challenges of using such data and the discrepancies emerging from various methodologies. It also delves into the methodological approach utilized for regional level estimates and the cost benefit analysis of taking action against soil- erosion-induced nutrient losses on arable lands used for cereal production, which is one aspect of land degradation. This is done by using an econometric modelling approach that estimates the costs of inaction, costs of action and the net benefits of action against erosion-induced soil nutrient depletion using national level economic and biophysical data. It focuses on the regional estimates for Africa and a cost-benefit analysis of soil nutrient inflows versus soil nutrient outflows, or what is considered the overall soil nutrient balance. The results indicate that in the next 15 years, starting from 2016, inaction against soil erosion will lead to a total annual loss of NPK nutrients of about 4.74 million tons/year, worth approximately 72.40 billion PPP USD in present value, which is equivalent to 5.09 billion PPP USD per year. As a supporting ecosystem service, the loss of NPK nutrients will lead to a cost in the provisioning of ecosystem services in the form of cereal yields. A one percent increase in the total amounts of nutrients depleted from all the croplands of a country causes a 1.254 Kg/ha decline in cereal yield. In other words, countries with a higher rates of total nutrient depletion from croplands have relatively lower cereal yield per hectare than countries with lower nutrient depletion. Thus, the present value of net benefits of taking action against soil erosion on the 105 million hectares of croplands in the 42 countries over the next 15 years (2016-2030) will account for about 2.48 trillion PPP USD or 62.4 billion USD per year, which is equivalent to 5.31 % of their average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2010–2012. This tells us that by taking action against soil-erosion-induced nutrient depletion in cereal croplands in the period 2016–30, the economies of the 42 countries could grow at an average rate of 5.31 % annually compared to 2010–2012 levels. Considering that the annuity value of the cost of inaction is 12.3 % of the average annual GDP of these 42 countries over the same period, the cumulative cost of inaction, which in other words measures the maximum benefits of action, is far greater than the cumulative cost of action.


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2015
Reports and Books
The importance of mangroves to people: a call to action
United Nations Environment Programme

Mangroves are a type of tropical forest, uniquely positioned at the dynamic interface of land and sea. They are found along coasts and estuaries throughout the tropics and subtropics and are capable of thriving in salt water||prospering in conditions to which only a few species have adapted. Mangroves form the foundation of a highly productive and biologically rich ecosystem which provides a home and feeding ground for a wide range of species, many of which are endangered. Although mangroves make up less than one percent of all tropical forests worldwide, they are highly valuable ecosystems, providing an array of essential goods and services which contribute significantly to the livelihoods, well-being and security of coastal communities.


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2014
Reports and Books
Climate finance for cities and buildings: a handbook for local governments
United Nations Environment Programme

The objectives of this Handbook are to help raise awareness among local stakeholders regarding climate finance and its potential in the built environment, given the important role that this sector has to play in climate change mitigation. It also aims to help local governments to use climate finance mechanisms as an opportunity to increase the energy performance of their district whilst creating additional revenue, improve resource efficiency and support their wider climate strategies.


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2014
Reports and Books
Valuing plastic: the business case for measuring, managing and disclosing plastic use in the consumer goods industry
United Nations Environment Programme

The objective of this report is to help companies manage the opportunities and risks associated with plastic use. It articulates the business case for companies to improve their measurement, disclosure and management of plastic use in their designs, operations and supply chains. In order to provide a sense of scale, the report sets out to quantify the physical impacts of plastic use translated into monetary terms. This metric can be seen as the current value-at-risk to a company, should these external impacts be realised internally through mechanisms like strengthened regulation, loss of market share, or increased price of raw materials and energy. This metric can also be used to help understand the magnitude of the opportunities, and the tangible benefits to stakeholders, including shareholders, of using plastic in an environmentally sustainable way.


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2014
Our Planet
Greening Business - Our Planet April 2014
United Nations Environment Programme

Greening business – and the business of greening – is essential to the global transformation to an inclusive, resource efficient and low-carbon economy. There has been significant progress in the last two decades. Many private sector companies, as this edition of Our Planet shows, are now partners for change. They are critical actors for meeting today’s environmental challenges and are seeing the benefit of creating decent jobs in a green economy


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2014
Reports and Books
Keeping Track of Our Changing Environment in Asia and the Pacific
United Nations Environment Programme

The Keeping Track of Our Changing Environment in Asia and the Pacific report is a unique scientific and indicator-based assessment report produced by UNEP, with contributions from experts and UNEP National Focal Points from the region. The report analyzes emerging and persistent development and environmental challenges in the region. The report also traces the patterns of economic development and resource use and degradation since 1992 when leaders from countries around the globe made their commitment to sustainable development at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


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2014
Annual Reports
UNEP 2013 Annual Report
United Nations Environment Programme

The 2013 Annual Report lays out the highlights of UNEP's work in 2013, a year in which the organization's Governing Council met under Universal Membership for the first time and the strengthening process agreed the previous year began in earnest. The report focuses on UNEP's achievement in the key focus areas of Climate Change||Disasters and Conflicts||Ecosystem Management||Environmental Governance||Harmful Substances and Hazardous Waste||Resource Efficiency||and Sustainable Consumption and Production. It also highlights the key role UNEP plays in providing environmental leadership to the UN system and the international community: for example, in 2013, nations adopted the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the first new global multilateral environmental agreement in almost a decade.


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2014
Reports and Books
Forests in a changing climate: a sourcebook for integrating REDD+ into academic programmes
United Nations Environment Programme

This publication was designed to give an overview of the key topics related to forests and climate change, under the overarching and evolving REDD+ narrative. The purpose is to facilitate the integration of this new knowledge domain into multi-disciplinary University programmes. The sourcebook provides case studies and detailed references in each module, and can be used comprehensively or selectively in the design and delivery of academic programmes related to REDD+.


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2014