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Danielsen F.,Nordisk Fond for Miljo og Udvikling | Topp-Jorgensen E.,University of Aarhus | Levermann N.,Ministry of Fisheries | Lovstrom P.,Ministry of Fisheries | And 3 more authors.
Polar Geography | Year: 2014

The climate is changing and the people in the Arctic are facing huge challenges. Many rely on natural resources for both subsistence and income. Successful adaptation to climate change and the sustainable use of resources requires observation of the environment. Scientific knowledge of the environment is incomplete and conventional scientific monitoring is logistically difficult. Local fishers and hunters observe the environment all year-round. Their observations and knowledge are, however, not consistently quantified, analyzed, or used for resource management. We present a simple, field-based system for monitoring and managing resources developed specifically to enable Greenlandic fishers and hunters to document trends in living resources and to propose management decisions themselves. This system was designed to build upon existing informal observing methods, and there is interest in the system among rural fishers and hunters. We describe correspondence between community members' perceptions and professional scientists' assessments of the abundance of sea-ice, shipping, fish, mammals, and birds. Community-based documentation can pinpoint particular species and areas that are in need of attention. At the same time, it can help link observed environmental changes to management action. We hope this paper will encourage other stakeholders to develop their own local monitoring systems so as to facilitate adaptive management responses at both local and national levels. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Source

Timmins R.J.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Steinmetz R.,World Wide Fund for Nature Thailand | Poulsen M.K.,NORDECO | Evans T.D.,Wildlife Conservation Society | And 2 more authors.
Primate Conservation | Year: 2013

The Indochinese silvered leaf monkey Trachypithecus germaini (perhaps comprising two species, T. germaini [sensu stricto] and T. margarita) is probably the rarest and most threatened monkey in Lao PDR. It has received less conservation-related attention in the country, however, than have the primates endemic to Indochina east of the Mekong because until recently it was generally considered conspetific with the widespread T. cristatus of Sundaic South-east Asia. All Lao records with firm locality details are from south of 16°23′N (in Dong Phou Vieng National Protected Area) and in lowland forests (up to 550 m above sea level), with many from near waterbodies. The predominant habitat seems to be semi-evergreen forest as patches and strips within a mosaic of more deciduous forest types, especially semi-evergreen forest in riparian and other waterside situations. Occupied semi-evergreen forest seems generally at the dry end of its spectrum, with a high deciduous tree component (this is the predominant type in interior plains-level Indochina), where this forest type grades to what some call mixed deciduous forest. Few if any records come from the interior of extensive unbroken semi-evergreen forest, or from highly-deciduous mixed-deciduous forest. Occupied areas include narrow stands flanking watercourses in deciduous dipterocarp forest, but there are no records from the more extensive deciduous dipterocarp forest matrix itself. Vague reports suggest occurrence up to 1,200 m, but given the high survey effort in such habitat, the species is at best very rare above the lowlands. Lao villager reports, and comparison with its status in similar habitats in adjacent Cambodia, suggest steep declines in Lao PDR. Suitable habitat (as profiled above) naturally covers only a small part of the southern Lao landscape, is among Lao PDR's most threatened habitats, and bears heavy hunting. Hence the great rarity of Indochinese silvered leaf monkeys compared with sympatric monkeys and gibbons, which inhabit the more extensive hill forests. There are records of the Indochinese silvered leaf monkey from only one Lao site since 2001. Although appropriate surveys during the 2000s have been limited, the species may now be extremely rare in the country and should join other, better publicized, bird and mammal species of these southern lowland plains landscapes as in need of urgent conservation action. Source

Danielsen F.,NORDECO | Burgess N.D.,Copenhagen University | Burgess N.D.,World Wildlife Fund | Jensen P.M.,Copenhagen University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Applied Ecology | Year: 2010

1. Solutions to the global environmental crisis require scientific knowledge and responses spanning different spatial scales and levels of societal organization; yet understanding how to translate environmental knowledge into decision-making and action remains limited. 2. We examined 104 published environmental monitoring schemes to assess whether participation in data collection and analysis influences the speed and scale of decision-making and action. 3. Our results show that scientist-executed monitoring informs decisions within regions, nations and international conventions. However, decisions typically take 3-9 years to be implemented. 4. We also show that scientist-executed monitoring has little impact at the village scale, where many natural resource management decisions are made. 5. At the village scale, monitoring schemes that involve local people, and relate to resource utilization at the village level, are much more effective at influencing decisions; these decisions typically take 0-1 year to be implemented. 6. Synthesis and applications. Involving local stakeholders in monitoring enhances management responses at local spatial scales, and increases the speed of decision-making to tackle environmental challenges at operational levels of resource management. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Ecological Society. Source

Danielsen F.,Nordisk Fond for Miljo og Udvikling | Jensen P.M.,Copenhagen University | Burgess N.D.,Copenhagen University | Burgess N.D.,World Wildlife Fund | And 11 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2014

One of the clearly stated intentions of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is to bring both "western scientific" and "indigenous and local" knowledge systems within synthetic global, regional, and thematic assessments. A major challenge will be how to use, and quality-assure, information derived from different knowledge systems. We test how indigenous and local knowledge on natural resources in Miskito and Mayangna communities in Nicaragua, validated through focus groups with community members, compares with information collected on line transects by trained scientists. Both provide comparable data on natural resource abundance, but focus groups are eight times cheaper. Such approaches could increase the amount and geographical scope of information available for assessments at all levels, while simultaneously empowering indigenous and local communities who generally have limited engagement in such processes. ©2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Mertz O.,Copenhagen University | Muller D.,Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe | Sikor T.,University of East Anglia | Hett C.,University of Bern | And 24 more authors.
Geografisk Tidsskrift | Year: 2012

International climate negotiations have stressed the importance of considering emissions from forest degradation under the planned REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation + enhancing forest carbon stocks) mechanism. However, most research, pilot-REDD+ projects and carbon certification agencies have focused on deforestation and there appears to be a gap in knowledge on complex mosaic landscapes containing degraded forests, smallholder agriculture, agroforestry and plantations. In this paper we therefore review current research on how avoided forest degradation may affect emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and expected co-benefits in terms of biodiversity and livelihoods. There are still high uncertainties in measuring and monitoring emissions of carbon and other GHG from mosaic landscapes with forest degradation since most research has focused on binary analyses of forest vs. deforested land. Studies on the impacts of forest degradation on biodiversity contain mixed results and there is little empirical evidence on the influence of REDD+ on local livelihoods and tenure security, partly due to the lack of actual payment schemes. Governance structures are also more complex in landscapes with degraded forests as there are often multiple owners and types of rights to land and trees. Recent technological advances in remote sensing have improved estimation of carbon stock changes but establishment of historic reference levels is still challenged by the availability of sensor systems and ground measurements during the reference period. The inclusion of forest degradation in REDD+ calls for a range of new research efforts to enhance our knowledge of how to assess the impacts of avoided forest degradation. A first step will be to ensure that complex mosaic landscapes can be recognised under REDD+ on their own merits. © 2012 Taylor & Francis. Source

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