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Scharlemann J.P.W.,University of Sussex | Scharlemann J.P.W.,Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Center | Tanner E.V.J.,University of Cambridge | Hiederer R.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | And 2 more authors.
Carbon Management | Year: 2014

Carbon stored in soils worldwide exceeds the amount of carbon stored in phytomass and the atmosphere. Despite the large quantity of carbon stored as soil organic carbon (SOC), consensus is lacking on the size of global SOC stocks, their spatial distribution, and the carbon emissions from soils due to changes in land use and land cover. This article summarizes published estimates of global SOC stocks through time and provides an overview of the likely impacts of management options on SOC stocks. We then discuss the implications of existing knowledge of SOC stocks, their geographical distribution and the emissions due to management regimes on policy decisions, and the need for better soil carbon science to mitigate losses and enhance soil carbon stocks. © 2014 Future Science Ltd.

Sutherland W.J.,University of Cambridge | Allison H.,Woodland Trust | Aveling R.,Fauna and Flora International | Bainbridge I.P.,Scottish Natural Heritage | And 10 more authors.
ORYX | Year: 2012

There is an increased appreciation of the need for horizon scanning: the identification and assessment of issues that could be serious in the future but have currently attracted little attention. However, a process is lacking to identify appropriate responses by policy makers and practitioners. We thus suggest a process and trial its applicability. Twelve environmental conservation organizations assessed each of 15 previously identified horizon scanning issues for their impact upon their organization and the urgency with which they should consider the issue. They also identified triggers that would result in changes in their scoring of the likely urgency and impact of the issues. This process enables organizations to identify priority issues, identify issues they can ignore until there are further developments, benchmark priorities across organizations and identify cross-organizational priorities that warrant further attention, so providing an agenda for collation of evidence, research and policy development. In this trial the review of responses by other organizations resulted in the upgrading of response by a substantial proportion of organizations for eight of the 15 issues examined. We suggest this approach, with the novel components of collaborative assessment and identification of triggers, could be adopted widely, both within conservation organizations and across a wider range of policy issues. © 2012 Fauna & Flora International.

Rodrigues A.S.L.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Gray C.L.,University of Cambridge | Gray C.L.,University of Oxford | Crowter B.J.,University of Cambridge | And 6 more authors.
BioScience | Year: 2010

Taxonomy, the description and classification of life's diversity, is a discipline that underpins all biological sciences. Current gaps in taxonomic knowledge and expertise restrict our ability to effectively conserve and manage biodiversity. Among vertebrates, amphibians are of particular concern; they are highly threatened yet poorly known. We found that resident expertise in amphibian taxonomy is concentrated in economically rich but relatively species-poor countries in North America and Europe. However, much expertise is exported; most experts work on species elsewhere, in biodiverse Asia or South America. Unexpectedly, age pyramids of taxonomists revealed healthy levels of participation among young researchers, though available expertise remains inadequate across most of the globe. Our results strongly suggest that many amphibian species are becoming extinct before they are described, and provide concrete support for the widespread calls to increase taxonomic expertise worldwide. © 2010 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.

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