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 | Year: 2014
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.
News Article | February 5, 2016
Bar-tailed godwits under assault. The plight of migrating shorebirds as a consequence of rapid shoreline habitat loss in the Yellow Sea is well illustrated by these staging Bar-tailed Godwits roosting on an active dredge-dumping site on 20 April 2012. The material was being excavated from a channel to improve access to the Donggang Fishing Port, Liaoning Province. The infilled area is planned to be part of an industrial park to be built on an area of intertidal mudflat that was excised from the Yalujiang National Nature Reserve by a boundary adjustment in 2012. Credit: David S. Melville The shrinking of mudflats along the coasts of the Chinese Yellow Sea is an increasing problem for migratory birds that travel between Siberia and Australia. Research by an international team of ecologists, led by Spinoza laureate professor Theunis Piersma, a senior scientist at NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and professor in Global Flyway Ecology at the University of Groningen, shows that three different species are in decline because of one common factor: loss of food and habitat along the coasts of the Yellow Sea, because of the increasing claim of land by the Chinese government. The research, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, involves three migratory bird species. The red knot (Calidris canutus piersmai) breeds on islands north of eastern Siberia. The great knot (Calidris tenuirostris) breeds in the alpine areas of north-eastern Siberia, and the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica menzbieri) breeds in the lower wetlands of north-eastern Siberia. All three of these species winter in Roebuck Bay, Western Australia. On their way between Asia and Australia they roost and refuel along the coasts of the Yellow Sea. Thanks to thousands of color ringed birds, and more than thirty thousand resightings of these birds, the ecologists were able to calculate the annual, as well as the seasonal survival of the three species between 2006 and 2013. The production of eggs and fledglings was no issue in that period. Also, the survival in their Australian wintering grounds was normal. However, from 2010 onwards, the survival showed a sharp decline in a period that included the spring and fall migration, as well as the breeding period. Because the snow melted relatively early on the breeding grounds in those years, there was no reason to believe that the survival was any different during that period. That left only one culprit: the conditions during migration along the Yellow Sea, where significant loss of habitat was going on because of land claim by the Chinese government. Previous research by the group of Piersma has shown that the survival of birds like the knot and the godwit is normally evenly spread across the year. Until 2010 this was also true for the knots and the godwits that roost along the shores of the Yellow Sea. The populations were stable. With the decline in survival in 2011 and 2012, however, the populations began to shrink. 'Should the survival continue to shrink like it did in these years, we'll see a decline in these populations to half within three or four years', Piersma predicts. 'Governments are usually not that keen on putting a halt on economic development in favour of nature and biodiversity, unless there is solid proof for negative effects on the environment', Piersma says. 'With this research, that was mainly funded by Birdlife Netherlands and WWF Netherlands, we delivered the proof that land claim around the Yellow Sea puts many migratory birds at risk.' More information: Theunis Piersma et al. Simultaneous declines in summer survival of three shorebird species signals a flyway at risk, Journal of Applied Ecology (2015). DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12582
Brook S.M.,WWF Vietnam |
van Coeverden de Groot P.,Queen's University |
Scott C.,Queen's University |
Boag P.,Queen's University |
And 9 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012
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.
Brook S.M.,WWF Vietnam |
Dudley N.,University of Queensland |
Dudley N.,Equilibrium |
Mahood S.P.,WCS Cambodia |
And 5 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2014
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.
Laurance W.F.,James Cook University |
Peletier-Jellema A.,PCS Environmental and Social Impacts |
Geenen B.,WWF Netherlands |
Koster H.,WWF Netherlands |
And 5 more authors.
Current Biology | Year: 2015
Infrastructures, such as roads, mines, and hydroelectric dams, are proliferating explosively. Often, this has serious direct and indirect environmental impacts. We highlight nine issues that should be considered by project proponents to better evaluate and limit the environmental risks of such developments. Laurance et al. define nine issues that should be considered to limit the environmental impacts of the massive worldwide infrastructure expansion. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Lambin E.F.,Catholic University of Louvain |
Lambin E.F.,Stanford University |
Meyfroidt P.,Catholic University of Louvain |
Rueda X.,Stanford University |
And 11 more authors.
Global Environmental Change | Year: 2014
Land use is regulated through various mixes of command-and-control interventions that directly affect land use via land use restrictions, and other public interventions that indirectly affect land use via agricultural, forestry, trade or macro-economic policies. More recently, coalitions of public and private actors have designed market-based and/or demand-led policy instruments to influence land use-e.g., eco-certification, geographical indications, commodity roundtables, moratoria, and payments for environmental services. These innovative instruments fall along a continuum of state involvement and interact with traditional public forms of land use regulation, leading to "hybrid" interventions. This article reviews emerging evidence on the effectiveness of the main instruments used to promote sustainable land use, and explores interactions between the new demand-led interventions and formal regulatory public policies. Although there are still insufficient rigorous studies evaluating the effectiveness of hybrid instruments, available evidence suggests some positive direct and indirect benefits. Hybrid instruments combine elements from both private and public regulatory systems, in innovative and effective ways. We propose a typology to characterize potential interactions between instruments that regulate land use. It links various types of interactions-i.e., complementarity, substitution, and antagonism-to the various stages of regulatory processes-i.e., agenda setting, implementation, and monitoring and enforcement. We give examples of governments endorsing certifications or using certification to support their own policies; governments creating enabling conditions for hybrid instruments to mature, allowing for wider adoption; and private instruments reinforcing public regulations or substituting for missing or weak governance. In some cases, governments, NGOs and corporations compete and may hinder each other's actions. With favourable institutional and governance contexts, well-designed hybrid public-private instruments can be effective. More systematic evaluation could boost the effectiveness of instruments and enhance synergistic interaction with traditional public land-use policy instruments to achieve incremental benefits as well as longer-term transformative outcomes in land-use protection. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
PubMed | University Utrecht, James Cook University, Center for Latin American Research and Documentation, WWF Netherlands and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Current biology : CB | Year: 2015
Infrastructures, such as roads, mines, and hydroelectric dams, are proliferating explosively. Often, this has serious direct and indirect environmental impacts. We highlight nine issues that should be considered by project proponents to better evaluate and limit the environmental risks of such developments.
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 | Year: 2013
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.
Harmsen R.,University Utrecht |
Eichhammer W.,Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research |
Wesselink B.,WWF Netherlands
Energy Efficiency | Year: 2014
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.