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Cambridge, United Kingdom

GAP2 is about making a difference to an issue of significance to the whole of society; the wellbeing of the marine environment and the sustainability of fisheries upon which society depends for food. It builds on the relationships, processes and plans arising from GAP1 by enabling Mobilisation and Mutual Learning (MML) actions that promote stakeholder participation in the debate on and development of research knowledge and structures relevant to emerging policy on fisheries and the marine environment. A broad range of stakeholders will participate, including actors from civil society organisations, research institutions, universities, national and regional ministries and media organisations. Their work will involve: participatory research actions that integrate the knowledge of stakeholders and scientists and render it useful for management and policy development, critical evaluation of the participatory processes and incorporation of the lessons learned into systems of research and decision making. Global networks will be developed to enable trans- and international cooperation on comparing and establishing good practice. The actions of the participants and the outcomes from GAP2 will provide a concrete realisation of specific Science in Society objectives for engaging the public in research, enabling effective two-way communication between scientists and other stakeholders, and helping to make policy based on scientific evidence and research knowledge. It will contribute to the aim of the Science in Society programme to enhance democratic debate with a more engaged and informed public, by providing better conditions for collective choices on scientific issues relating to sustainable management, conservation of ecosystem integrity and biodiversity of the marine environment.

Buchanan G.M.,The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds | Donald P.F.,The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds | Butchart S.H.M.,BirdLife International
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Limited resources are available to address the world's growing environmental problems, requiring conservationists to identify priority sites for action. Using new distribution maps for all of the world's forest-dependent birds (60.6% of all bird species), we quantify the contribution of remaining forest to conserving global avian biodiversity. For each of the world's partly or wholly forested 5-km cells, we estimated an impact score of its contribution to the distribution of all the forest bird species estimated to occur within it, and so is proportional to the impact on the conservation status of the world's forest-dependent birds were the forest it contains lost. The distribution of scores was highly skewed, a very small proportion of cells having scores several orders of magnitude above the global mean. Ecoregions containing the highest values of this score included relatively species-poor islands such as Hawaii and Palau, the relatively species-rich islands of Indonesia and the Philippines, and the megadiverse Atlantic Forests and northern Andes of South America. Ecoregions with high impact scores and high deforestation rates (2000-2005) included montane forests in Cameroon and the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, although deforestation data were not available for all ecoregions. Ecoregions with high impact scores, high rates of recent deforestation and low coverage by the protected area network included Indonesia's Seram rain forests and the moist forests of Trinidad and Tobago. Key sites in these ecoregions represent some of the most urgent priorities for expansion of the global protected areas network to meet Convention on Biological Diversity targets to increase the proportion of land formally protected to 17% by 2020. Areas with high impact scores, rapid deforestation, low protection and high carbon storage values may represent significant opportunities for both biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, for example through Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiatives. © 2011 Buchanan et al.

Lavergne S.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory | Evans M.E.K.,CNRS Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution Institute | Burfield I.J.,BirdLife International | Jiguet F.,CNRS Science Conservation Center | Thuiller W.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

Predicting how and when adaptive evolution might rescue species from global change, and integrating this process into tools of biodiversity forecasting, has now become an urgent task. Here, we explored whether recent population trends of species can be explained by their past rate of niche evolution, which can be inferred from increasingly available phylogenetic and niche data. We examined the assemblage of 409 European bird species for which estimates of demographic trends between 1970 and 2000 are available, along with a species-level phylogeny and data on climatic, habitat and trophic niches. We found that species' proneness to demographic decline is associated with slow evolution of the habitat niche in the past, in addition to certain current-day lifehistory and ecological traits. A similar result was found at a higher taxonomic level, where families prone to decline have had a history of slower evolution of climatic and habitat niches. Our results support the view that niche conservatism can prevent some species from coping with environmental change. Thus, linking patterns of past niche evolution and contemporary species dynamics for large species samples may provide insights into how niche evolution may rescue certain lineages in the face of global change. © 2012 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Szabo J.K.,Charles Darwin University | Butchart S.H.M.,BirdLife International | Possingham H.P.,University of Queensland | Garnett S.T.,Charles Darwin University
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

The Red List Index (RLI), which uses information from the IUCN Red List to track trends in the projected overall extinction risk of sets of species, is among the indicators adopted by the world's governments to assess performance under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. For greatest impact, such indicators need to be measured and used at a national scale as well as globally. We present the first application of the RLI based on assessments of extinction risk at the national scale using IUCN's recommended methods, evaluating trends in the status of Australian birds for 1990-2010. We calculated RLIs based on the number of taxa in each Red List category and the number that changed categories between assessments in 1990, 2000 and 2010 as a result of genuine improvement or deterioration in status. A novel comparison between trends at the species and ultrataxon (subspecies or monotypic species) level showed that these were remarkably similar, suggesting that current global RLI trends at the species level may also be a useful surrogate for tracking losses in genetic diversity at this scale, for which no global measures currently exist. The RLI for Australia is declining faster than global rates when migratory shorebirds and seabirds are included, but not when changes resulting from threats in Australia alone are considered. The RLI of oceanic island taxa has declined faster than those on the continent or on continental islands. There were also differences in the performance of different jurisdictions within Australia. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008. | Award Amount: 7.91M | Year: 2009

EuroGEOSS demonstrates the added value to the scientific community and society of making existing systems and applications interoperable and used within the GEOSS and INSPIRE frameworks. The project will build an initial operating capacity for a European Environment Earth Observation System in the three strategic areas of Drought, Forestry and Biodiversity. It will then undertakes the research necessary to develop this further into and advanced operating capacity that provides access not just to data but also to analytical models made understandable and useable by scientists from different disciplinary domains. This concept of inter-disciplinary interoperability requires research in advanced modelling from multi-scale heterogeneous data sources, expressing models as workflows of geo-processing components reusable by other communities, and ability to use natural language to interface with the models. The extension of INSPIRE and GEOSS components with concepts emerging in the Web 2.0 communities in respect to user interactions and resource discovery, also supports the wider engagement of the scientific community with GEOSS as a powerful means to improve the scientific understanding of the complex mechanisms driving the changes that affect our planet.

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