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Stephenson P.J.,WWF International | Stephenson P.J.,IUCN SSC Species Monitoring Specialist Group | Bowles-Newark N.,United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Center | Regan E.,United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Center | And 26 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2016

African countries need to conserve biodiversity and use natural resources rationally if they are to avoid continued environmental degradation that jeopardizes sustainable development and human wellbeing. However, many government agencies cannot access or use the biodiversity data they need to make informed decisions for environmental and economic management. More than forty stakeholders representing governments, civil society organizations (CSOs) and UN agencies, including delegates from 20 African states, identified decisions that require biodiversity information and explored blockages and potential solutions to data access and use. The participants concluded that the key enabling environment includes data availability, data quality and usability, willingness to collect and use data, and financial and technical capacity. We recommend that African government departments across sectors work with academic bodies and CSOs to: i) enhance internal resources for monitoring and develop partnerships with donors; ii) build capacity for data collection, using tools, guidelines and communities surrounding CBD planning and biodiversity monitoring; iii) improve national and international co-ordination and cross-sectoral collaboration for biodiversity data management; iv) produce and use more data-derived products that encourage data use, especially assessments that demonstrate the importance of biodiversity to economies and wellbeing and dashboards that facilitate interpretation and analysis. Governments, CSOs and academic bodies should test different science-policy interfaces in a handful of pilot countries or regions, building on existing models to demonstrate how data providers and users can work together to break down barriers to data access and sharing and mainstream biodiversity information into decision-making. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.


Liang J.,West Virginia University | Crowther T.W.,Netherlands Institute of Ecology | Crowther T.W.,Yale University | Picard N.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations | And 97 more authors.
Science | Year: 2016

The biodiversity-productivity relationship (BPR) is foundational to our understanding of the global extinction crisis and its impacts on ecosystem functioning. Understanding BPR is critical for the accurate valuation and effective conservation of biodiversity. Using ground-sourced data from 777,126 permanent plots, spanning 44 countries and most terrestrial biomes, we reveal a globally consistent positive concave-down BPR, showing that continued biodiversity loss would result in an accelerating decline in forest productivity worldwide. The value of biodiversity in maintaining commercial forest productivity alone - US$166 billion to 490 billion per year according to our estimation - is more than twice what it would cost to implement effective global conservation. This highlights the need for a worldwide reassessment of biodiversity values, forest management strategies, and conservation priorities. © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.


PubMed | James Cook University, Institute of Tropical Forest Conservation, University of Zürich, Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and 59 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Science (New York, N.Y.) | Year: 2016

The biodiversity-productivity relationship (BPR) is foundational to our understanding of the global extinction crisis and its impacts on ecosystem functioning. Understanding BPR is critical for the accurate valuation and effective conservation of biodiversity. Using ground-sourced data from 777,126 permanent plots, spanning 44 countries and most terrestrial biomes, we reveal a globally consistent positive concave-down BPR, showing that continued biodiversity loss would result in an accelerating decline in forest productivity worldwide. The value of biodiversity in maintaining commercial forest productivity alone-US$166 billion to 490 billion per year according to our estimation-is more than twice what it would cost to implement effective global conservation. This highlights the need for a worldwide reassessment of biodiversity values, forest management strategies, and conservation priorities.


Chang'a A.,World Animal Protection Africa | Chang'a A.,Biodiversity Inc. | de Souza N.,World Animal Protection Africa | Muya J.,Problem Animal Control Unit | And 12 more authors.
Tropical Conservation Science | Year: 2016

Elephants (Loxodonta africana) raiding crops around Tanzanian national parks threaten farmers’ lives and livelihoods, thus contributing to negative local attitudes towards wildlife. As a result, there is often tacit support for poaching among local communities, and elephants suffer through reprisal poisoning or wounding or through being shot as ‘problem animals’ by game wardens. Human-elephant conflict (HEC) is growing as the wildlands that still have elephants, especially around national parks, reserves, and wildlife corridors, are increasingly being settled. Sisal string fences soaked in engine oil mixed with ground chili (Capsicum spp.) can dissuade elephants from entering fenced fields. For the last nine years, farmers around Mikumi National Park in Tanzania have been constructing these fences around ripening crops, and there have been no incidents of fences being broken by elephants. Community-based organizations (CBOs) that manage members’ savings through village micro-credit associations help ensure the costs of materials and fence construction are met. Chili fences are rapidly becoming widespread, facilitated through farmer-to-farmer exchanges where teams of farmers demonstrate both the fences and the CBOs needed to support the project. We argue that promoting the use of chili fences, coupled with supporting CBOs, as a best practice within communities and government programs and budgets, will help reduce the need for HEC compensation, protect livelihoods, empower rural women, increase the food security of rural farmers, and help conserve elephants. © 2016, Mongaby.com e-journal. All rights reserved.


Green J.M.H.,University of Cambridge | Burgess N.D.,Copenhagen University | Green R.E.,University of Cambridge | Madoffe S.S.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | And 4 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

Despite chronic underfunding for conservation and the recognition that funds must be invested wisely, few studies have analysed the direct costs of managing protected areas at the spatial scales needed to inform local site management. Using a questionnaire survey we collected data from protected area managers in the Eastern Arc Mountains (EAMs) of Tanzania to establish how much is currently spent on reserve management and how much is required to meet conservation objectives. We use an information theoretic approach to model spatial variation in these costs using a range of plausible, spatially explicit predictor variables, including a novel measure of anthropogenic pressure that measures the human pressure that accrues to any point in the landscape by taking into account all people in the landscape, inversely weighted by their distance to that point.Our models explain over 75% of variation in actual spend and over 40% of variation in necessary spend. Population pressure is a variable that has not been used to model protected area management costs before, yet proved to be considerably better at predicting both actual and necessary spend than other measures of anthropogenic pressure.We use our results to estimate necessary spend at a 9km 2 resolution across the EAM and highlight those areas where the management costs of effective management are predicted to be high. This information can be used by conservation planners in the region and can be estimated for future scenarios of population growth and migration. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Jamnadass R.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | Dawson I.K.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | Anegbeh P.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | Asaah E.,International Center for Research in Agroforestry | And 21 more authors.
Forests Trees and Livelihoods | Year: 2010

The seeds of Allanblackia trees produce edible oil with significant global market potential. Consequently, a private-public partnership involving Unilever and known as 'Novella Africa' is engaged in the development of Allanblackia as a new crop in a number of African countries. The purpose of this partnership is to build a profitable and sustainable initiative for harvest, marketing and cultivation. Rural communities are directly involved and a participatory approach to domestication is being followed to maximise fanners' livelihood benefits. This is the first time a multinational company has partnered in such an approach, and the initiative represents an example for the domestication of other new tree crops. Investing in good communication between partners is considered to be essential to success by ensuring trust and a common understanding of priorities. Progress to date has involved the establishment of market supply chains for oil, based firstly on wild harvest, and the initiation of cultivation by smallholders. Further work will involve the development of rural resource centres to deliver improved germplasm to growers. At the same time, these centres will provide other services such as market information, credit and access to buyers. Through this strategy it is foreseen that there will be progress towards the development of a market value chain which removes producers' constraints to profitable involvement. Furthermore, the diversification of farmers' cropping systems should have positive impacts for biodiversity and provide resilience in the face of climate change. Currently, the most important activity under the initiative is the promotion of Allanblackia planting, so that production constraints do not hamper market development. © 2010 A B Academic Publishers-Printed in Great Britain.

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