Tagged on: Ecosystem management

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
Uganda Wetlands Atlas - Volume I
United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme

This publication has been driven by the need to address the rising concerns about the impact of human activities on wetlands in Uganda, particularly those around the Kampala metropolitan area. This visual portrayal is clustered into five major themes: an introductory overview of wetlands management, institutional, policy and legal framework for general awareness of issues in the wetlands of Uganda and the Kampala metropolitan area; a brief overview of major wetland systems in the study area comprised of Kampala City, Mukono and Wakiso districts; a general description of the drivers of wetland changes, with detailed analysis for selected hotspots in Kampala, Wakiso and Mukono; wetland pressures, impacts, constraints and opportunities; and strategies for ensuring the wise use of these vital but fragile ecosystems. With up-to-date maps, recent and historical satellite images, ground photographs, data tables, graphs and compelling storylines, the Wetlands Atlas provides a vivid depiction of the state of Uganda’s major urban and peri-urban wetlands. It is envisaged that this Atlas will serve as an important reference tool for policy makers, legislators, corporate bodies, environmentalists, educators, students and the general public.


Download: Uganda Wetlands Cover_Volume I.pdf, Uganda Wetlands Atlas_Volume I.pdf
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
MDG Report 2014: Assessing Progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, African Union, African Development Bank and United Nations Development Programmeme

African Member States have made remarkable progress towards achieving the MDGs despite difficult initial conditions. Indeed, previous MDG Progress Reports for Africa have shown that when effort and initial conditions are factored in, African countries are among the top achievers of the MDGs. A study of countries accelerating the most rapidly towards the MDGs found that eight of the world’s top ten best performers are in Africa. Further, progress was more rapid in least-developed countries (LDCs) than in non-LDCs despite the significant investments in infrastructure and human capital that countries at very low levels of development require to achieve the MDGs.


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2014
Reports and Books
The 5th National Report of Iraq - Convention on Biological Diversity
Ministry of Environment - Republic of Iraq

In general, the report dealt with all information on eco-region bases. It is logically divided into what the CBD advised that parts are to deal with providing answers and stimulate discussions on major issues of biodiversity in Iraq. The first part gives an update on biodiversity status, trends, and threats and implications for human well-being. While the second part dealt with aspects of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), its implementation, and the mainstreaming of biodiversity. The later and third part assessed the progress towards the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets and contributions to the relevant 2015 Targets of the Millennium Development Goals. However, these major parts were further subdivided into specialized sections exhibiting variety of pictorial and numerical data.


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2014
Reports and Books
Towards a global map of natural capital: key ecosystem assets
United Nations Environment Programme

Natural capital is fundamental to human wellbeing, underpinning the global economy. Natural capital comprises both ecosystem assets (such as fresh water) and natural resources (such as fossil fuel deposits). This report presents the first attempt to give an overview of the global distribution of ecosystem assets. Ecosystem assets have the capacity to generate a basket of ecosystem services, and this capacity can be understood as a function of the extent (quantity) and condition (quality) of the ecosystem. The report builds on a considerable body of work in the fields of natural capital accounting and the mapping of ecosystem services. In particular, it draws on the UN Statistics Division's System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) and its Experimental Ecosystem Accounting approach, as well as the work by many other researchers.


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2014