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Zeist, Netherlands

Brook S.M.,WWF Vietnam | van Coeverden de Groot P.,Queens University | Scott C.,Queens University | Boag P.,Queens University | And 9 more authors.
Biological Conservation

Javan rhinoceros (. Rhinoceros sondaicus) is among the most threatened large mammal species in the world. Development of rigorous, non-invasive survey techniques is a high priority, to monitor populations and develop informed conservation management strategies. The critically endangered javan rhinoceros until recently survived in two separate populations, one in Vietnam and one in Indonesia, representing distinct subspecies. The range of the . annamiticus subspecies around Cat Tien National Park (CTNP) has declined significantly since its re-discovery in 1989, and no accurate estimate of population size had ever been obtained. We employed integrated survey techniques and analyses to determine the population status of the javan rhinoceros in Vietnam. We conducted a comprehensive field survey of the Cat Loc sector of CTNP using scat detection dogs to detect javan rhinoceros dung between October 2009 and April 2010. Twenty-two dung samples were collected for microsatellite DNA analysis, seventeen of which were of sufficient quality to be analysed. The genotyping work confirmed that only a single rhinoceros was present at the start of the survey in 2009 and that this was the same individual that was found dead in April 2010. Although far less definitive than host genotyping, stool bacterial diversity assays also supported the hypothesis that all samples collected by the survey were from one individual. This empirical data combined with field survey data indicate the extinction of the javan rhinoceros in Vietnam. We conclude by discussing the developmental progress of these non-invasive survey techniques to monitor other endangered rhinoceros populations. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Brook S.M.,WWF Vietnam | Dudley N.,University of Queensland | Dudley N.,Equilibrium | Mahood S.P.,WCS Cambodia | And 5 more authors.
Biological Conservation

The extinction of the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) from Vietnam in 2010 was a conservation tragedy. Hunting has been the primary driver of the catastrophic decline of Javan rhinoceros throughout its range. The last individual from Vietnam was poached in 2010. To help avert repeating such outcomes with similarly imperiled species, this case study presents a state-pressure-response framework, considering the rhinoceros's historical and current status, the pressures it faced, and the adequacy of the conservation response. The failure at the site level to protect the rhinoceros population ultimately resulted in its demise. Low political will to take decisions required to recover the species and inadequate focus from the conservation and donor community further contributed to the subspecies's extinction, in part due to a lack of knowledge on population status. Lessons from this example should inform the conservation of other very threatened large vertebrates, particularly in Southeast Asia. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Reeves R.R.,Okapi Wildlife Associates | Ewins P.J.,WWF Canada | Agbayani S.,WWF Canada | Heide-Jorgensen M.P.,Greenland Institute of Natural Resources | And 6 more authors.
Marine Policy

The Arctic is one of the fastest-changing parts of the planet. Global climate change is already having major impacts on Arctic ecosystems. Increasing temperatures and reductions in sea ice are particular conservation concerns for ice-associated species, including three endemic cetaceans that have evolved in or joined the Arctic sympagic community over the last 5. M years. Sea ice losses are also a major stimulant to increased industrial interest in the Arctic in previously ice-covered areas. The impacts of climate change are expected to continue and will likely intensify in coming decades. This paper summarizes information on the distribution and movement patterns of the three ice-associated cetacean species that reside year-round in the Arctic, the narwhal (Monodon monoceros), beluga (white whale, Delphinapterus leucas), and bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus). It maps their current distribution and identifies areas of seasonal aggregation, particularly focussing on high-density occurrences during the summer. Sites of oil and gas exploration and development and routes used for commercial shipping in the Arctic are compared with the distribution patterns of the whales, with the aim of highlighting areas of special concern for conservation. Measures that should be considered to mitigate the impacts of human activities on these Arctic whales and the aboriginal people who depend on them for subsistence include: careful planning of ship traffic lanes (re-routing if necessary) and ship speed restrictions; temporal or spatial closures of specified areas (e.g. where critical processes for whales such as calving, calf rearing, resting, or intense feeding take place) to specific types of industrial activity; strict regulation of seismic surveys and other sources of loud underwater noise; and close and sustained monitoring of whale populations in order to track their responses to environmental disturbance. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Harmsen R.,University Utrecht | Eichhammer W.,Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research | Wesselink B.,WWF Netherlands
Energy Efficiency

As Europe is not on track in meeting its 2020 energy savings target, there has been quite some debate to make the energy savings target binding instead of indicative. Although the final draft text of the Energy Efficiency Directive left the option of a binding target explicitly open for the period beyond 2014, this statement has watered down in the adopted Directive: If still not on track mid-2014, the European Commission will propose "further measures." In this paper, we argue that a binding energy savings target could be the first EU legal initiative to look beyond 2020 serving as a beacon for other policies such as for renewables and greenhouse gases that need redefinition after 2020. We therefore explore four possible design options of a binding savings target and assess their feasibility. We conclude that a binding target at Member State level (opposed to an EU-wide target like for the EU Emission Trading System (ETS)) is the most feasible. A binding target at Member State level would ensure political accountability and commitment to deliver results while providing flexibility to choose and apply the most suitable tools to achieve the target. It could provide a framework to guide ambitious and coherent implementation of EU energy efficiency policies, as well as the strengthening of national policies. Furthermore, binding targets at Member State level will make Member States take an ambitious position in Brussels when new energy or CO2 performance standards for appliances and transport modes are to be set. A Member State binding target applied to end-users (excluding ETS companies) is a design option that covers the vast majority of the cost-effective energy savings potential, maintains the flexibility for ETS companies, and supports the most cost-effective achievement of a greater share of renewables. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Mulatu K.A.,Wageningen University | Mulatu K.A.,Center for International Forestry Research | Herold M.,Wageningen University | Koster H.,WWF Netherlands | And 6 more authors.
Carbon Management

REDD+ measuring, reporting and verification - science solutions to policy challenges 10-12 June 2013, Zeist, The Netherlands A workshop entitled 'REDD+ measuring, reporting and verification - science solutions to policy challenges' was organized by the WWF Forest and Climate Initiative, WWF Netherlands and Wageningen University REDD@WUR network from 10th to 12th June 2013 in Zeist, The Netherlands. The purpose of this workshop was to assess the status and development of monitoring approaches in light of the evowlving REDD+ measuring, reporting and verification needs from different actors in the REDD+ measuring, reporting and verification process. Accordingly, the most important gaps were identified and led to the development of research priorities with focus on better linking local and national REDD+ efforts on five themes, namely: monitoring and measurement; reporting and verification; reference levels; measuring, reporting and verification of safeguards; and benefit sharing. © 2013 Future Science Ltd. Source

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