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  1. International Day of Biological Diversity
  2. 1.1 What is biodiversity?
  3. 1. Biodiversity: What is it, where is it, and why is it important?
  4. Islands : biological diversity and ecosystem function - Semantic Scholar

The hyperbolic pattern of the world population growth arises from a second-order positive feedback between the population size and the rate of technological growth. The similarity between the curves of biodiversity and human population probably comes from the fact that both are derived from the interference of the hyperbolic trend with cyclical and stochastic dynamics.

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Most biologists agree however that the period since human emergence is part of a new mass extinction, named the Holocene extinction event , caused primarily by the impact humans are having on the environment. In , in his Biodiversity-related Niches Differentiation Theory , Roberto Cazzolla Gatti proposed that species themselves are the architects of biodiversity, by proportionally increasing the number of potentially available niches in a given ecosystem. This view offers a possible answer to the fundamental question of why so many species can coexist in the same ecosystem.

It is as if the natural world is an enormous bank account of capital assets capable of paying life sustaining dividends indefinitely, but only if the capital is maintained. There have been many claims about biodiversity's effect on these ecosystem services, especially provisioning and regulating services. After an exhaustive survey through peer-reviewed literature to evaluate 36 different claims about biodiversity's effect on ecosystem services, 14 of those claims have been validated, 6 demonstrate mixed support or are unsupported, 3 are incorrect and 13 lack enough evidence to draw definitive conclusions.

Since the stone age , species loss has accelerated above the average basal rate, driven by human activity. Estimates of species losses are at a rate , times as fast as is typical in the fossil record. Agricultural diversity can be divided into two categories: intraspecific diversity , which includes the genetic variety within a single species, like the potato Solanum tuberosum that is composed of many different forms and types e. The other category of agricultural diversity is called interspecific diversity and refers to the number and types of different species.

Thinking about this diversity we might note that many small vegetable farmers grow many different crops like potatoes and also carrots, peppers, lettuce etc. This is a functional classification that we impose and not an intrinsic feature of life or diversity. Planned diversity includes the crops which a farmer has encouraged, planted or raised e.

The control of associated biodiversity is one of the great agricultural challenges that farmers face. On monoculture farms, the approach is generally to eradicate associated diversity using a suite of biologically destructive pesticides , mechanized tools and transgenic engineering techniques , then to rotate crops. Although some polyculture farmers use the same techniques, they also employ integrated pest management strategies as well as strategies that are more labor-intensive, but generally less dependent on capital, biotechnology and energy.

Interspecific crop diversity is, in part, responsible for offering variety in what we eat. Intraspecific diversity, the variety of alleles within a single species, also offers us choice in our diets. If a crop fails in a monoculture, we rely on agricultural diversity to replant the land with something new. If a wheat crop is destroyed by a pest we may plant a hardier variety of wheat the next year, relying on intraspecific diversity.

We may forgo wheat production in that area and plant a different species altogether, relying on interspecific diversity. Even an agricultural society which primarily grows monocultures, relies on biodiversity at some point. Monoculture was a contributing factor to several agricultural disasters, including the European wine industry collapse in the late 19th century and the US southern corn leaf blight epidemic of Although about 80 percent of humans' food supply comes from just 20 kinds of plants, [ citation needed ] [] humans use at least 40, species.

Biodiversity's relevance to human health is becoming an international political issue, as scientific evidence builds on the global health implications of biodiversity loss. This is because the species most likely to disappear are those that buffer against infectious disease transmission, while surviving species tend to be the ones that increase disease transmission, such as that of West Nile Virus, Lyme disease and Hantavirus, according to a study done co-authored by Felicia Keesing, an ecologist at Bard College and Drew Harvell, associate director for Environment of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future ACSF at Cornell University.

The growing demand and lack of drinkable water on the planet presents an additional challenge to the future of human health. Partly, the problem lies in the success of water suppliers to increase supplies and failure of groups promoting preservation of water resources. Some of the health issues influenced by biodiversity include dietary health and nutrition security, infectious disease, medical science and medicinal resources, social and psychological health. Biodiversity provides critical support for drug discovery and the availability of medicinal resources.

Biodiversity has been critical to advances throughout the field of bionics. Evidence from market analysis and biodiversity science indicates that the decline in output from the pharmaceutical sector since the mids can be attributed to a move away from natural product exploration "bioprospecting" in favor of genomics and synthetic chemistry, indeed claims about the value of undiscovered pharmaceuticals may not provide enough incentive for companies in free markets to search for them because of the high cost of development; [] meanwhile, natural products have a long history of supporting significant economic and health innovation.

Many industrial materials derive directly from biological sources. These include building materials, fibers, dyes, rubber and oil. Biodiversity is also important to the security of resources such as water, timber, paper, fiber and food. Biodiversity enriches leisure activities such as hiking , birdwatching or natural history study. Biodiversity inspires musicians , painters, sculptors , writers and other artists. Many cultures view themselves as an integral part of the natural world which requires them to respect other living organisms. Popular activities such as gardening , fishkeeping and specimen collecting strongly depend on biodiversity.

The number of species involved in such pursuits is in the tens of thousands, though the majority do not enter commerce. The relationships between the original natural areas of these often exotic animals and plants and commercial collectors, suppliers, breeders, propagators and those who promote their understanding and enjoyment are complex and poorly understood. The general public responds well to exposure to rare and unusual organisms, reflecting their inherent value. Philosophically it could be argued that biodiversity has intrinsic aesthetic and spiritual value to mankind in and of itself.

This idea can be used as a counterweight to the notion that tropical forests and other ecological realms are only worthy of conservation because of the services they provide. Biodiversity supports many ecosystem services :. There is mounting evidence that biodiversity increases the stability of ecosystem functions through time Diverse communities are more productive because they contain key species that have a large influence on productivity and differences in functional traits among organisms increase total resource capture The impacts of diversity loss on ecological processes might be sufficiently large to rival the impacts of many other global drivers of environmental change Maintaining multiple ecosystem processes at multiple places and times requires higher levels of biodiversity than does a single process at a single place and time.

It plays a part in regulating the chemistry of our atmosphere and water supply.

International Day of Biological Diversity

Biodiversity is directly involved in water purification , recycling nutrients and providing fertile soils. Experiments with controlled environments have shown that humans cannot easily build ecosystems to support human needs; [] for example insect pollination cannot be mimicked, though there have been attempts to create artificial pollinators using unmanned aerial vehicles. According to Mora and colleagues, the total number of terrestrial species is estimated to be around 8. The authors note that these estimates are strongest for eukaryotic organisms and likely represent the lower bound of prokaryote diversity.

Since the rate of extinction has increased, many extant species may become extinct before they are described. No longer do we have to justify the existence of humid tropical forests on the feeble grounds that they might carry plants with drugs that cure human disease. Gaia theory forces us to see that they offer much more than this. Through their capacity to evapotranspirate vast volumes of water vapor, they serve to keep the planet cool by wearing a sunshade of white reflecting cloud.

Their replacement by cropland could precipitate a disaster that is global in scale. During the last century, decreases in biodiversity have been increasingly observed. The Living Planet Report claims that "the number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish across the globe is, on average, about half the size it was 40 years ago".

Biodiversity took the biggest hit in Latin America , plummeting 83 percent. This is despite the fact that high-income countries use five times the ecological resources of low-income countries, which was explained as a result of process whereby wealthy nations are outsourcing resource depletion to poorer nations, which are suffering the greatest ecosystem losses. A study published in PLOS One found that the biomass of insect life in Germany had declined by three-quarters in the last 25 years. Dave Goulson of Sussex University stated that their study suggested that humans "appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon.

If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse. In , many species were formally classified as rare or endangered or threatened ; moreover, scientists have estimated that millions more species are at risk which have not been formally recognized. About 40 percent of the 40, species assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria are now listed as threatened with extinction —a total of 16, Jared Diamond describes an "Evil Quartet" of habitat destruction , overkill, introduced species and secondary extinctions.

Habitat destruction has played a key role in extinctions, especially in relation to tropical forest destruction. Habitat size and numbers of species are systematically related. Physically larger species and those living at lower latitudes or in forests or oceans are more sensitive to reduction in habitat area.

A study conducted by the National Science Foundation found that biodiversity and genetic diversity are codependent—that diversity among species requires diversity within a species and vice versa. Co-extinctions are a form of habitat destruction. Co-extinction occurs when the extinction or decline in one species accompanies similar processes in another, such as in plants and beetles. A report has revealed that bees and other pollinating insects have been wiped out of almost a quarter of their habitats across the United Kingdom.

The population crashes have been happening since s and are affecting the biodiversity. The increase in industrial farming and pesticide use, combined with disease, invasive species and climate change is threatening the future of these insects and the agriculture they support. Barriers such as large rivers , seas , oceans , mountains and deserts encourage diversity by enabling independent evolution on either side of the barrier, via the process of allopatric speciation.

The term invasive species is applied to species that breach the natural barriers that would normally keep them constrained. Without barriers, such species occupy new territory, often supplanting native species by occupying their niches, or by using resources that would normally sustain native species.

The number of species invasions has been on the rise at least since the beginning of the s. Species are increasingly being moved by humans on purpose and accidentally. In some cases the invaders are causing drastic changes and damage to their new habitats e. Some evidence suggests that invasive species are competitive in their new habitats because they are subject to less pathogen disturbance.

Invasive species seem to increase local i. Overall gamma diversity may be lowered because species are going extinct because of other causes, [] but even some of the most insidious invaders e. Extirpation , population decline and homogenization of regional biodiversity are much more common. Human activities have frequently been the cause of invasive species circumventing their barriers, [] by introducing them for food and other purposes.

Does biodiversity matter to ecosystem functions, and how can that be determined ? 23 janvier 2007

Human activities therefore allow species to migrate to new areas and thus become invasive occurred on time scales much shorter than historically have been required for a species to extend its range. Not all introduced species are invasive, nor all invasive species deliberately introduced. In cases such as the zebra mussel , invasion of US waterways was unintentional. In other cases, such as mongooses in Hawaii , the introduction is deliberate but ineffective nocturnal rats were not vulnerable to the diurnal mongoose.

In other cases, such as oil palms in Indonesia and Malaysia, the introduction produces substantial economic benefits, but the benefits are accompanied by costly unintended consequences. Finally, an introduced species may unintentionally injure a species that depends on the species it replaces. In Belgium , Prunus spinosa from Eastern Europe leafs much sooner than its West European counterparts, disrupting the feeding habits of the Thecla betulae butterfly which feeds on the leaves.

Introducing new species often leaves endemic and other local species unable to compete with the exotic species and unable to survive. The exotic organisms may be predators , parasites , or may simply outcompete indigenous species for nutrients, water and light. For example, the introduction of kudzu from Southeast Asia to Canada and the United States has threatened biodiversity in certain areas.

Endemic species can be threatened with extinction [] through the process of genetic pollution , i. These phenomena can be especially detrimental to rare species that come into contact with more abundant ones. The abundant species can interbreed with the rare species, swamping its gene pool.

This problem is not always apparent from morphological outward appearance observations alone. Some degree of gene flow is normal adaptation and not all gene and genotype constellations can be preserved. However, hybridization with or without introgression may, nevertheless, threaten a rare species' existence. Overexploitation occurs when a resource is consumed at an unsustainable rate. This occurs on land in the form of overhunting , excessive logging , poor soil conservation in agriculture and the illegal wildlife trade. The overkill hypothesis , a pattern of large animal extinctions connected with human migration patterns, can be used explain why megafaunal extinctions can occur within a relatively short time period.

In agriculture and animal husbandry , the Green Revolution popularized the use of conventional hybridization to increase yield. Often hybridized breeds originated in developed countries and were further hybridized with local varieties in the developing world to create high yield strains resistant to local climate and diseases.

Local governments and industry have been pushing hybridization. Formerly huge gene pools of various wild and indigenous breeds have collapsed causing widespread genetic erosion and genetic pollution. This has resulted in loss of genetic diversity and biodiversity as a whole. Genetically modified organisms contain genetic material that is altered through genetic engineering.

Genetically modified crops have become a common source for genetic pollution in not only wild varieties, but also in domesticated varieties derived from classical hybridization. Genetic erosion and genetic pollution have the potential to destroy unique genotypes , threatening future access to food security.

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A decrease in genetic diversity weakens the ability of crops and livestock to be hybridized to resist disease and survive changes in climate. Global warming is a major threat to global biodiversity. Climate change has proven to affect biodiversity and evidence supporting the altering effects is widespread. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide certainly affects plant morphology [] and is acidifying oceans, [] and temperature affects species ranges, [] [] [] phenology, [] and weather, [] but, mercifully, the major impacts that have been predicted are still potential futures.

We have not documented major extinctions yet, even as climate change drastically alters the biology of many species. In , an international collaborative study on four continents estimated that 10 percent of species would become extinct by because of global warming. Lee Hannah, a co-author of the paper and chief climate change biologist at the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International. Climate change has advanced the time of evening when Brizillian free-tailed bats Tadarida brasiliensis emerge to feed. This change is believed to be related to the drying of regions as temperatures rise.

This earlier emergence exposes the bats to greater predation increased competition with other insectivores who feed in the twilight or daylight hours. The world's population numbered nearly 7. Ehrlich and Stuart Pimm have noted that human population growth and overconsumption are the main drivers of species extinction. According to a study by the World Wildlife Fund , the global human population already exceeds planet's biocapacity — it would take the equivalent of 1.

Rates of decline in biodiversity in this sixth mass extinction match or exceed rates of loss in the five previous mass extinction events in the fossil record. Over the last 50 years, the state of nature has deteriorated at an unprecedented and accelerating rate. The main drivers of this deterioration have been changes in land and sea use, exploitation of living beings, climate change, pollution and invasive species. These five drivers, in turn, are caused by societal behaviors, from consumption to governance.

Damage to ecosystems undermines 35 of 44 selected UN targets, including the UN General Assembly's Sustainable Development Goals for poverty, hunger, health, water, cities' climate, oceans and land. It can cause problems with food, water and humanity's air supply. To fix the problem, humanity will need a transformative change, including sustainable agriculture , reductions in consumption and waste, fishing quotas and collaborative water management. In page 8 the report propose in page 8 of the summary " enabling visions of a good quality of life that do not entail ever-increasing material consumption" as one of the main measures.

The report states that "Some pathways chosen to achieve the goals related to energy, economic growth, industry and infrastructure and sustainable consumption and production Sustainable Development Goals 7, 8, 9 and 12 , as well as targets related to poverty, food security and cities Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2 and 11 , could have substantial positive or negative impacts on nature and therefore on the achievement of other Sustainable Development Goals" [] []. Conservation biology matured in the midth century as ecologists , naturalists and other scientists began to research and address issues pertaining to global biodiversity declines.

The conservation ethic advocates management of natural resources for the purpose of sustaining biodiversity in species , ecosystems , the evolutionary process and human culture and society. Conservation biology is reforming around strategic plans to protect biodiversity. Removal of exotic species will allow the species that they have negatively impacted to recover their ecological niches.

Exotic species that have become pests can be identified taxonomically e. As sustainable populations of the remaining native species in an area become assured, "missing" species that are candidates for reintroduction can be identified using databases such as the Encyclopedia of Life and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Protected areas are meant for affording protection to wild animals and their habitat which also includes forest reserves and biosphere reserves. Some scientists have called on the global community to designate as protected areas of 30 percent of the planet by , and 50 percent by , in order to mitigate biodiversity loss from anthropogenic causes.

National park and nature reserve is the area selected by governments or private organizations for special protection against damage or degradation with the objective of biodiversity and landscape conservation. National parks are usually owned and managed by national or state governments. A limit is placed on the number of visitors permitted to enter certain fragile areas.

Designated trails or roads are created. The visitors are allowed to enter only for study, cultural and recreation purposes. Forestry operations, grazing of animals and hunting of animals are regulated. Exploitation of habitat or wildlife is banned. Wildlife sanctuaries aim only at conservation of species and have the following features:.

The forests play a vital role in harbouring more than 45, floral and 81, faunal species of which floral and faunal species are endemic. In reserved forests, rights to activities like hunting and grazing are sometimes given to communities living on the fringes of the forest, who sustain their livelihood partially or wholly from forest resources or products. The unclassed forests covers 6.

In zoological parks or zoos, live animals are kept for public recreation , education and conservation purposes.

1.1 What is biodiversity?

Modern zoos offer veterinary facilities, provide opportunities for threatened species to breed in captivity and usually build environments that simulate the native habitats of the animals in their care. Zoos play a major role in creating awareness about the need to conserve nature. In botanical gardens , plants are grown and displayed primarily for scientific and educational purposes.

They consist of a collection of living plants, grown outdoors or under glass in greenhouses and conservatories. In addition, a botanical garden may include a collection of dried plants or herbarium and such facilities as lecture rooms, laboratories, libraries, museums and experimental or research plantings.

Focusing on limited areas of higher potential biodiversity promises greater immediate return on investment than spreading resources evenly or focusing on areas of little diversity but greater interest in biodiversity. A second strategy focuses on areas that retain most of their original diversity, which typically require little or no restoration. These are typically non-urbanized, non-agricultural areas.

Tropical areas often fit both criteria, given their natively high diversity and relative lack of development. Global agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity , give "sovereign national rights over biological resources" not property. The agreements commit countries to "conserve biodiversity", "develop resources for sustainability" and "share the benefits" resulting from their use.

Bioprospecting can become a type of biopiracy when such principles are not respected. The Convention on Biodiversity implies informed consent between the source country and the collector, to establish which resource will be used and for what and to settle on a fair agreement on benefit sharing. Uniform approval for use of biodiversity as a legal standard has not been achieved, however. Bosselman argues that biodiversity should not be used as a legal standard, claiming that the remaining areas of scientific uncertainty cause unacceptable administrative waste and increase litigation without promoting preservation goals.

India passed the Biological Diversity Act in for the conservation of biological diversity in India. The Act also provides mechanisms for equitable sharing of benefits from the use of traditional biological resources and knowledge. Contemporary biodiversity physics is "firmly fixated on the visible [macroscopic] world". The inverse relationship of size and population recurs higher on the evolutionary ladder—to a first approximation, all multicellular species on Earth are insects". The number of morphological attributes that can be scored for diversity study is generally limited and prone to environmental influences; thereby reducing the fine resolution required to ascertain the phylogenetic relationships.

DNA based markers- microsatellites otherwise known as simple sequence repeats SSR were therefore used for the diversity studies of certain species and their wild relatives. In the case of cowpea , a study conducted to assess the level of genetic diversity in cowpea germplasm and related wide species, where the relatedness among various taxa were compared, primers useful for classification of taxa identified, and the origin and phylogeny of cultivated cowpea classified show that SSR markers are useful in validating with species classification and revealing the center of diversity.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Javascript is not enabled in your browser. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. Learn how to enable JavaScript on your browser. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview Oceanic islands represent a set of systems in which biological diversity varies as a consequence of remoteness or size, not environment; they are also generally simpler than continental ecosystems.

Islands therefore provide an opportunity to determine the direct effects of biological diversity on ecosystem function. The volume addresses the components of biological diversity on islands and their patterns of variation; the modern threats to the maintenance of biological diversity on islands; the consequences of island biology and its modification by humanity regarding aspects of ecosystem function; the global implications of islands for conservation; and how islands can help one to understand the processes inducing changes throughout the world. Product Details Table of Contents.

Show More. Average Review. Write a Review. Regional institutions should provide specialized knowledge, advice or benefit of experience in support of national efforts to develop or to sustain operational capabilities related to hazard risks experienced by countries sharing a common geographical environment. Institutional mechanisms are essential for effective disaster risk reduction. Risk assessment and risk reduction practices need to be strongly supported by sound administration, law and political processes. This includes the following aspects, arranged in order from more tangible to less tangible items: organizational structures departments, consultative bodies, etc and professional staff resources; incorporation of risk reduction into existing and new legislation; implementation.

Activities associated with disaster risk reduction Disaster risk management spans a wide range of methods and activities — assessment and analysis, mapping and data analysis, public information, community participation, early warning systems, policy and regulation, project impact assessment, education programs, conservation practices, and political processes. While there are general approaches to risk reduction, the specific approaches must be tailored to local circumstances.

Typically, the risk reduction activities will not be done as stand-alone projects, but will be implemented as integral components of other programmes, such as in specific development projects, water resources management, planning and land-use policies, environmental protection, and community development. Many countries and regions have begun to adopt a more proactive approach on disaster reduction of disaster preparedness and mitigation in place of the former emphasis of postdisaster relief and rebuilding. Many of these initiatives are provided in the global review of disaster risk reduction initiatives, Living with Risk ISDR, , which contains a rich resource of information with examples.

Environmental management The environment and disasters are inherently linked. Likewise, it exacerbates the impact of natural disasters, lessens overall resilience and challenges traditional coping strategies. It is now well know that practices that protect the integrity of nature and ensure a wise use of natural resources provide solutions to reduce vulnerability from which both the environmental and disaster communities will benefit. Environmental management can become a cost-effective tool for disaster reduction while serving many other objectives including conservation of biodiversity, mitigation of adverse global environmental changes and poverty alleviation.

The use of environmental management and knowledge needs to be promoted as a strategy for reducing risks. Environmental actions that reduce vulnerability need to be identified and applied by disaster reduction practitioners. Integrating environmental management within existing disaster reduction policy frameworks and international strategies will build a safer world. At present, environmental management tools do not systematically integrate trends in hazards occurrence and vulnerability.

Similarly, disaster reduction practitioners do not systematically explore the advantages of using environmental management tools and approaches. Some benefit might be drawn from the fact that environmental tools were developed from a risk management approach. Indeed environmental and social impact assessment processes are geared towards risk identification to address them in the design of plans and projects.

Early warning systems Early warning systems have an important role to play in protecting the interests of societies and communities. Political support is crucial to ensure the technical and social relevance, usefulness and efficiency of early warning strategies. As a key element of any disaster reduction strategy, early warning must be integrated into sustainable development. Early warning measures in SIDS Mauritius offers an interesting example of the high priority given by an island nation to early warning of cyclones.

The Central Cyclone Committee, a communicationoriented central government by provides leadership to ensure the effectiveness of the warning system. This endorsement from the highest political authority is a particularly strong and commendable feature of its disaster planning from which others elsewhere can learn. Lives and property can be saved by timely forecasts and issuance of warnings.

The resulting loss of life was very low considering the force of the hurricane. Wherever possible, farmers on the island also sought to protect important sources of revenue such as their banana plantations by wrapping the trees with burlap. Information management and innovative communication practices play key roles in disaster risk management.

Most countries with effective national risk management authorities are committed to increasing public awareness about hazards and disaster reduction practices. Only by providing evidence of the benefits of reducing vulnerability to hazards can future investment and priorities in this area be sustained. Sustaining public interest in times of calm is one of the key disaster risk management roles that public awareness can play. It is in the time between disasters that public awareness activities can be accomplished if future losses are to be avoided. In this respect, a valuable step that can be taken is to ensure the timely and widespread circulation of lessons learned from disasters and activities that can reduce risks in the future.

Disaster reduction practices and climate change Disaster reduction practices will be challenged by climate change, especially in SIDS. However SIDS can provide the international momentum, given their vulnerability both to extreme events and the impacts of climate change in order to bridge the gap between the disaster reduction and climate change communities. ISDR is currently working to solidify the links and bridge the gaps between climate change and disaster reduction activities through enhanced exchange of information, coordinate policy actions and building of partnerships, and implement activities serving common interests.

The ultimate aim of these outreach activities is to promote the use of disaster risk reduction as a readily implemented component of climate change adaptation strategies. At present only a few of the National Communications prepared under the Convention processes have any significant mention of disaster risk reduction activities. Learning to deal with climate variability and extremes is an excellent way of building adaptive capacity in the long run. In short, weatherrelated natural hazards and climate change can no longer be treated separately in international policy and funding.

Steps are being taken to promote the involvement of disaster risk reduction experts in the next IPCC assessment process, which will be completed in Work is also continuing under the ISDR on technical matters, such as the development of better databases on hazards, risks, vulnerabilities and disasters. It serves as an international information clearinghouse on disaster reduction, developing awareness campaigns and producing articles, journals, and other publications and promotional materials related to disaster reduction. ISDR: Linking natural disaster reduction and adaptation to climate change: towards the integration of information, knowledge and policies.

April Recognizing that natural hazards can threaten any one of us, the ISDR builds on partnerships and takes a global approach to disaster reduction, seeking to involve every individual and every community towards the goals of reducing the loss of lives, the socioeconomic setbacks and the environmental damages caused by natural hazards. UN agencies and governments are increasingly using the ISDR as a primary international vehicle to develop and guide commit-. Conclusion The ecosystems of many small island states support more rare, endangered and threatened species than anywhere else in the world and the marine environment comprises an enormous and largely unexplored resource, including the most extensive and diverse reefs in the world, and intact populations of many globally threatened species including whales, sea turtles, etc.

Their societal development depends on the generation of ecosystem goods such as food, timber and medicines and ecosystems services such as water purification, flood. ICSU: Resilience and sustainable development, series on science for sustainable development no. Continuing damage to the biodiversity and ecosystem of these small island states needs to be halted, for the sake of island populations and humankind as a whole. Successful disaster reduction measures should enhance environmental quality, which includes protection of natural resources and open space, management of water run-off, and reduction of pollution.

Sustainable management of natural resources should also increase the resilience of communities to disasters by reversing current trends of environmental degradation and dealing with hazard management in a comprehensive way. Understanding of the need to conserve biodiversity has increased in number, vision and complexity in the last few years, falling into two main categories Callicott : intrinsic and utilitarian value. This analysis is even more relevant in the case of islands due to their fragile ecology, environmental vulnerability, biologically diverse riches and that their economic activities are chiefly based on natural and cultural values.

Figure 1, created by these authors shows that many of the insular systems coincide with the sites of highest priority hot spots or with tropical areas with more natural characteristics in their ecosystems. Figures 2 and 3 compare the presence of some taxonomical groups, reflecting the world importance of biodiversity in the islands, even when they are compared with zones of mega-biodiversity. But, despite the singularity of biodiversity in the islands, only approximately 15 percent of established biosphere reserves are located. However, natural marine areas are only 1 percent, which represents a serious situation Hillary In obtained the degree of Dr.

Since to he has directed the National Biodiversity Center and coordinated the Cuban Biodiversity Country Study and formed part of the task force group for the elaboration of the Cuban National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Since , started to work at National Commission for Environmental Protection, attending the issues related with the conservation and management of natural resources in the coastal and marine zone.

She has been close related with the Convention on Biological Diversity since the process of elaboration and negotiation, from , and participated in the process of the National Biodiversity Study, from to and the elaboration process of Biodiversity National Strategy and the Action Plans, in Alterations of these conditions due to natural or anthropological factors cause the genetic reduction of species and ecosystems.

Figure 2 Number of reptilian species in two selected islands and two continental countries. This shows the urgent need to include a greater number of marine and coastal sites and small islands with exceptional value. Insular Africa has 0. Although this information is considered manipulated, it permits a view of how forest resources are distributed in the islands.

There are a considerable number of plants and animals in terrestrial, coastal and interior water ecosystems that are part of complex networks of biological relations, creating the necessary conditions for their balance. Currently, biological resources support nearly 40 percent of the world economy and meet 80 percent of human needs, including ecological, social, genetic, scientific, cultural, and spiritual ones.

Its economic importance lies in its role for the development of agriculture, livestock, forestry, and fishing, as well as for. However, what is most important is that ened, or endangered. The increascal limit. New technology has accelerated the process, transforming native genetic resources into commercial products, mainly developed by companies from countries at a different scale of industrialization.

They include the production of certified seeds for agriculture and forestry, production of dyes, medicines, bio-fertilizers and bio-pesticides, as well as high quality fibers and fuels. The development and commercialization of these products would allow Islands to obtain income through a solid system of patents and copyright of genetic resources and development of technologies, based on biological species and their chemical components.

At present, there is a growing preference for ecological products on the world market, as consumers are aware that they contribute to increased quality of life in the population and the environment in general. According to chapter 17 of Agenda 21, small developing Insular States are a special case, both for the environment and develop-. Climatic changes are also a great risk for islands, as the negative impact is mainly linked to an increase of sea level, possible increase of aridity, and drought processes.

This negatively influences availability of water resources, agricultural production, and biodiversity. The invasion of exotic species is one of the greatest threats for native biological diversity, as their impact is considerable, and generally irreversible. This can be as harmful for native species and ecosystems as the lack and degradation of habitats. This situation is more problematic for small islands. Oceans, mountains, rivers, and deserts have acted as natural barriers for millenniums, so that unique ecosystems could evolve. In only a few centuries, these barriers have become inefficient, due to the combined action of global forces that have helped exotic species cover long distances toward new habitats, becoming invading species.

Changes in consumption patterns, advances in science and technology, recent trade strategies, and new political and economic scenes have also influenced small insular. This is undoubtedly a risk for the sustainability of their natural and cultural resources. Forest ecosystems have been affected by the cutting of trees and deterioration of swamps due to the expansion of agriculture, intensification of related practices, and socioeconomic development itself.

1. Biodiversity: What is it, where is it, and why is it important?

All these aspects have led to the destruction of habitats and the consequent extinction of species. The development of basic economic activities for islands, such as agriculture, fishing, and tourism in their littoral zones have affected their coastal and marine ecosystems in a peculiar way. The excessive exploitation of fishing resources, the use of mangrove swamps for aquaculture, changes in the use of soils for agriculture, tourism, deforestation, and pollution have determined the changes in coastal habitats, thus affecting the protective function of marine and coastal ecosystems.

The sustainable development in fishing regions in the small Islands is negatively affected by several factors such as: irresponsible fishing practices, lack of capacity, both human and institutional, for the research and handling of resources, limited participation of those who use the resources in planning and making decisions, inadequate or insufficient knowledge of the fishing reserves of sea biodiversity in general and the ecosystems and its work, and an insufficient capacity for surveillance and control.

The industrial, handicraft and re-creative fishing activities should be carried out in accordance with the real capacity of the species and ecosystems, in a way to guarantee the sustainability of their products. For example, the Caribbean is visited by more than a hundred million tour-. The situation presented is highly complex, on one hand, tourism is increasing, and on the other, there are environmental and social risks that can be irreversible. It is only possible to face this challenge with a sustainable tourism, ecologically bearable for the long term, economically and equally viable from an ethical and social perspective for the local communities.

The active and consequent participation of all sectors involved in the elaboration and implementation of integrated strategies for tourist development on the islands is necessary for this to be not just a declaration. The elaboration and implementation of strategies for the preservation and sustainable use of biodiversity comes from the knowledge obtained and that necessary to acquire, the real evaluation of the environmental situation, and the priorities established for development.

In this sense, studies and national and regional evaluations, although they are still numerically limited in the case of the islands, could constitute the basis for the preparation of these strategies. The international community has organized programs and projects that facilitate the study of biological diversity and topics associated with it.

This has been included on the agendas of the United Nations, other international and Habanilla Dam, Cuba. That is, how many and which species can be lost, and what else do we lose when we lose biodiversity? What are the proposals within global measures to mitigate the emission of gases with greenhouse effects? How to transform subsistence agriculture, practiced by millions of poor farmers, into a sustainable agriculture? The Republic of Cuba, an archipelago with particular value in its biodiversity, high vulnerability, and fragility as a small insular state, has assumed indisputable commitments to guarantee sustainability in the use of its natural resources.

In this study were identified the main aspects for the elaboration of the national strategy. Cuba has also integrated with regional and world efforts in relation to scientific and. It is interesting to stress the role played by the Inter American Institute for the Research of Global Change, which through the promotion of comparative studies and focus on important regional themes, has been creating capacities to better understand the impact of global change in the past, present and future in the 19 member countries.

Political agenda international framework The international agenda has set a series of international goals difficult to attain. They target the treatment and possible solution of the main problems affecting humankind: hunger, poverty, improvement of living conditions and health, in which biological diversity, due to its importance for human beings, has occupied a leading position that commits nations to its conservation, particularly, its sustainable utilization See Box 1. BOX 1 The global tasks of the millennium, proclaimed by the millennium summit in , establish the eradication of extreme poverty and famine as a goal of paramount importance to respond to the most essential needs of development.

Chapter IV, paragraph 44, on biodiversity. Establishing national monitoring systems for each element of biological diversity, allowing invigoration of the state and evolution of those components, and adopting the decision best suited at a given moment. Work for institutional improvement and training of national human resources. Outline and work intensely on environmental education and promote focus on every sector of the population, establishing the most suitable mechanisms to achieve involvement of local government and communities.

Establish and implement the evaluation of the environmental impact in socioeconomic development programs. Define the areas, ecosystems and species requiring special handling to secure their preservation, restoration and sustainable use. Develop, among priorities, methodology for the economic evaluation of the resources of biodiversity. Increase the levels of international cooperation and coordination, especially at the regional level. Finally, it is necessary to stress that biological diversity can be only be seen as a resource for sustainable development if it is given a comprehensive and systematic approach, clearly revealing the existing interaction between society and nature.

Conservation values and ethics. Pages Meffe; C. Caroll, and contributors, editors. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts. CEPAL, Serie Seminarios y Conferencias. FAO, Main Report. FAO Forest Study Rome, Italy. The contributions of science to integrated coastal management. Reports and Studies, No. El tesoro Escondido: los ecosistemas marinos. Conservation Biology Tesis de grado. UNEP, Global Biodiversity Assessment. Summary for Policy Makers.

World Travel Tourism Council. Global Biodiversity Strategy. World Resources Institute, Washington, D. Introduction Small islands are renowned for their biological diversity and their endemism, and biological diversity plays a crucial role in the daily life and social fabric of the human populations of many small islands, from subsistence economy to contemporary tourism. Small islands have also long played an important role in scientific studies on the genetic diversity and evolution of living beings. And in recent decades, topics such as island biogeography and the impact of alien invasive species on island biota have figured prom- inently in the theory, concepts and practices of popu-.

However, biological diversity on many small islands is under increasing threat, through such impacts as the introduction of exotic species, development of tourism infrastructures, excessive harvesting of particular biotic groups e. Generally, island species tend to be much more vulnerable to changes in their environments.

Plant and animal populations tend to be small, localized, highly specialized and they tend not to have developed defence mechanisms against a broad range of potential predators or competitors. Within such a context, it is scarcely surprising that conservation of biodiversity takes on a special hue in small islands. To the extent. E-mail: d. Small islands are microcosms for our world. We are all inhabitants of the global island, surrounded by the limitless ocean of space.

If we can find solutions to the special vulnerabilities of islands, it will help us address more global problems. Kofi A. Annan, United Nations Secretary General. Small island developing states have been at the forefront of global environmental consciousness raising and problem solving. Mohamed T. Consistent with such perceptions, this contribution explores the thesis that small islands constitute living laboratories for innovative approaches to biodiversity conservation.

The Durban Action Plan adopted at the Vth World Parks Congress Durban, September is used as a framework for examining some of these approaches, in such domains as the role of protected areas PAs in sustainable development, PAs linked to surrounding landscapes and seascapes, rights of indigenous peoples, empowerment of younger generations, improved forms of governance, and so on. Box 1. The focus is on sites of outstanding and universal value.

Biosphere reserves are sites to explore and demonstrate approaches to conservation and sustainable development at a regional scale, with associated research, monitoring, training and education and the involvement of local people as the driving force for conservation. A team of moderators and translators maintain the site -- editing the contributions before they are posted in English, French and Spanish on the Forum site, and in addition sending the new postings as e-mail to over 17, individuals connected with the Forum. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission IOC includes several initiatives relating to coastal marine biodiversity, focused on such biotic groups as coral reefs, harmful algae and coastal benthos.

As such, the conclusions and recommendations of the congress can be considered a fairly good reflection of current thinking on conservation challenges. The principal outputs included a set of 32 recommendations addressing such subjects as climate change and protected areas, cultural and spiritual values, tourism , a vision statement entitled the Durban Accord, and the Durban Action Plan -- a suggested checklist of the activity needed to increase the benefits of protected areas to society and to improve their coverage and management.

In the following paragraphs, the substance of these various outcomes are used as topic heads for examining some recent and planned initiatives in biodiversity conservation in small island settings. Critical role in global biodiversity conservation Outcome 1 of the Durban Action Plan seeks to fill gaps in the global system of protected areas, identifying specific actions in this respect by Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Heritage Convention.

One action requested of the World Heritage Committee is to give priority to achieving complete knowledge of potential World Heritage around the world, including marine biomes of outstanding universal value. Some work has already been undertaken that addresses this issue. In , the World Heritage Centre. Following the workshop, three pilot projects, that all contain small islands, have been initiated in this respect: the Pacific Line Islands, the Southern Caribbean Islands group, and the Eastern Pacific Marine Conservation Corridor.

Among the priorities for future action is further development of the World Heritage marine programme, including testing the application of transboundary and serial approaches into new marine World Heritage nominations. Fundamental role in sustainable development Reinforcing action to ensure that protected areas strive to alleviate poverty is an explicit part of Outcome 2 of the Durban Action Plan.

A small-islands perspective is provided by an evaluation of a recent ten-year project to promote biodiversity conservation in the Pacific Hunnam The evaluation notes that options for conserving biodiversity. The close dependence of Pacific-islander lives and livelihoods on local natural resources means that the latter approach is more realistic and likely to be more effective.

The recommended approach is to ensure that conservation is shaped and recognized as a cornerstone of sustainable development and is therefore an important valid business for government and private agencies concerned with economic and social development and the use of natural resources in fisheries, forestry, agricultural, mining and tourism. The evaluation further underlines that conservation is essentially a social issue requiring democratic involvement of the people and local communities whose lives and livelihoods are most affected.

As elsewhere, local people must be recognized and empowered as the primary stakeholders and central participants in conservation projects. All-too-often in coastal regions, land and water areas are under separate jurisdictions and management authorities, making difficult a coherent approach to regional ecosystem complexes. More promising is recent experience in a number of small-island settings, where a range of mechanisms and procedures have been sought to articulate the work of agencies having different management responsibilities in land-marine ecotone areas.

Central to this challenge is consideration of adjacent land and marine systems as an ensemble, with different areas zoned for different functions and purposes and core protected areas identified in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Islands : biological diversity and ecosystem function - Semantic Scholar

Figure 1. Zoning contiguous land and marine areas for different purposes and uses B. The biosphere reserve also includes The zonation scheme of the Guadeloupe Archipelago Biosphere Reserve is made up of two units: the tropical humid forest of the Guadeloupe National Park and the marine area of the Grand Cul de Sac Marine Nature Reserve consisting of mangroves, small islands and coral reefs.

The transition areas include numerous small towns and villages with many tourist facilities. Different management regimes are required for each zone and each ecosystem type. Experience in a number of these reserves — in such domains as conflict prevention and resolution, and the zonation of land and water areas for different purposes Figure 1 — provides insights useful in conservation planning and management in other small island situations.

Small islands are renowned for their biological diversity and endemism. Improving effective management The challenge of improving the quality, effectiveness and reporting of protected area management Outcome 4 of the Durban Action Plan has many dimensions Among the measures for improving the health of protected areas is making management more comprehensive, participatory and affordable, and sensitive to cultural and spiritual factors.

For example, the island of Siberut — the home of the Mentawai people, located km from the western coast of mainland Sumatra in Indonesia — was designated as a biosphere reserve in , and an area somewhat less than half of the island as a national park in More recently, a series of small-scale pilot projects for community development has led to a new The project aims to develop and put into practice a new management mechanism that integrates customary ecological knowledge and practices of local people with conservation and socio-economic planning.

As a critical part of the co-management structure, a transparent financial management has been et up, allowing open auditing between different levels of the project management and stakeholders. Among the ten World Heritage sites taking part is Aldabra Atoll, where special attention has been given to prioritizing management actions and identifying how management systems need to be improved. Promoting sensitive use of modern scientific knowledge and technological tools is another ingredient for improved conservation planning.

Examples here include the use of remote sensing technologies for tropical coastal management Edwards and the development of geographic information systems for regional planning, as illustrated through the integrated management GIS for the Bijagos archipelago in Guinea Bissau, which includes ten maps of the littoral environment at a scale of , Cuq Recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities Outcome 5 of the Durban Action Plan relates to the rights of indigenous peoples, mobile peoples and local communities being recognized and guaranteed in relation to natural.

Alltoo-often in the past, world-wide, the various components of the conservation community have tended to disregard or minimize the roles, knowledge and customary laws of indigenous and mobile peoples and local communities, in respect to their lands, territories and resources. Sometimes, indigenous peoples and local communities have been expelled from government-created protected areas, thereby severing their relationships with their territories and undermining their cultural integrity.

Indeed, indigenous peoples. Yet in many small-island settings, indigenous and mobile peoples and local communities have remained the custodians of nature, and form the starting point of many recent conservation initiatives. In the Pacific, for example, countries have experimented with community-based conservation areas as an alternative to inflexible protected area models that deny local people access to natural resources. As part of the ten-year. On the Indian Ocean island of Socotra, vegetation is sparse and dominated by xeromorphic drought-resistant forms.

Socotra became parte ofthe World Network of Biosphere Reserves in , following preparatory work supported through one of the island-biodiversity projects of the Global Environment Facility GEF. Photo by Giuseppe Orlando. Though results of the project have been mixed Hunnan , there has been sufficient evidence to suggest that, in the Pacific at least, conservation is first and foremost about respecting community rights to the lands and resources on which they depend.

Despite a history of dispute, the villages came together to establish the Vatthe Conservation Area and associated Conservation Area Management Committee, assisted by a conservation support officer funded by the programme. Together with a small ecotourism enterprise, the Vatthe Conservation Area is owned and managed by the communities of both villages who have chosen the conservation of their forest, allowing for traditional use and ecotourism initiatives, over lucrative logging contracts. Reinvigorating oral traditions is another dimension of recognizing the rights of indigenous and mobile peoples, as has been done in a project with the Moken sea gypsy communities of the Surin Islands, in the Andaman Sea off the southwestern coast of Thailand UNESCO Among other aims, the project has sought to strengthen dialogue between officials of the marine national park and the Moken, to enable the latter to become active partners in the management of the area and safeguarding its heritage value through the sharing of knowledge, skills and tools.

In some small islands, making resource management laws available and understandable to local resource users may be an important step in promoting dialogue and stakeholder participation. In Haiti, for example, fisheries laws are written in French. However the majority of those affected by the laws i. Whence the translation of the fisheries. Involving and empowering younger generations Engaging young people to take an active role in resource management and biodiversity conservation Outcome 6 of the Durban Action Plan has been a key feature of a long-term project in the Caribbean which started in for understanding beach changes, applying the knowledge gained in improved coastline planning, and training school children in the use of scientific method for observing and monitoring change.

Together, a standardized methodology has been developed, to measure, assess and manage the various phenomena associated with beach erosion. Beach monitoring programmes have been established, as part of measures for improved coastal planning and erosion mitigation. Five countries in the region have tested a generic methodology to ensure that new coastal development is placed at a safe distance from the active beach zone, thereby providing for the safety of coastal infrastructure and the conservation of beaches.

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Support has been provided for getting the message into the living room, by providing training and equipment to persons from environmental and broadcast agencies. And then, with the assistance of teachers, parents and communities, for applying that information in the design and implementation of specific projects to solve a particular problem while also improving the beach environment. Increased support for protected areas from other constituencies Establishing and recognizing mutual agendas for conservation among diverse constituencies part of Outcome 7 of the Durban Action Plan should result in many partnerships involving the business and commercial sector as well as conservation volunteer programmes of various kinds.

An example is provided by Chumbe Island, situated 13 km southwest of Zanzibar Town in Tanzania and covering an area of approximately 20 ha and bordered on its western shore by a fringing coral reef of exceptional biodiversity and beauty. Based on the initiative and investment proposal of Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd, a private company created for the management of Chumbe, the island was gazetted in as a protected area by the Government of Zanzibar. This created the first managed marine park in Tanzania, and also it is believed the first private marine park in the world.

The objectives of the Chumbe Island Coral Park project are non-commercial, while operations follow commercial principles.