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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.


News Article | January 5, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

A team of dolphins and whales researchers in Tanzania unintentionally discovered the rampant blast fishing practices in the African country. Blast fishing, also called dynamite fishing, uses explosives to kill large numbers of fish, making way for easier collection. The destructive practice is usually illegal in many countries. Blast fishing kills large numbers of fish as well their natural habitat. The practice destroys the coral reefs along with other sea animals that live in them. The research team listened to underwater recordings documented in March 2015 and heard around 10 blasts happening every day. In a meeting with the World Wildlife Fund, a member said he often hears as many as 50 blasts a day in his Dar es Salaam home. Dar es Salaam is a commercial port located on the country's Indian Ocean coast. Dynamite fishing was introduced in the country in the 1960s. The practice was made illegal in the 1970s but still persisted. Apart from easier collection and bigger payload, mining in Tanzania also increased, which made dynamites easily available. Blast fishing also affects tourism, which covers 17 percent of Tanzania's gross domestic product. Explosions kill the coral reefs and makes the underwater scene unsightly. In June 2015, the Tanzanian government created the Multi-Agency Task Team to handle the increasing crimes that have taken its toll on the country's underwater wildlife. "The focus will be to target the individuals and networks that control this illegal trade, bring them to justice, and seize any assets obtained through their crimes," said Magese Emmanuel Bulayi, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism's principal fisheries officer. From 1997 to 2003, Tanzania's marine police and navy joined local programs to curb blast fishing. However, there were confusion on which department should enforce the law. The meager resources and light sentences given to blast fishing practitioners didn't help matters either. Tanzania's Fisheries Act of 2003 carries a minimum of five years in jail for blast fishing, however, it seems offenders rarely get the punishment, said marine conservationist Sue Wells. Nearly two-thirds of Tanzania's coastline conceals coral reefs which are home to crab, fish and other marine species. These underwater homes also help in stabilizing the ocean's carbon dioxide levels. Coral reefs are abundant in shallow waters, which are also the areas prone to blast fishing. "Some of these corals have been growing for decades," said World Wildlife Fund's marine conservation scientist Gabby Ahmadia. Damaged corals take decades to recover, while some never recover at all. The research team also noted that some of the blasts killed dolphins, based on anecdotal evidence. The bottlenose dolphin is an endangered species found in Tanzania's waters.

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