Biodiversity loss

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  • The planet is a marvelous place: a place with blue skies, wild storms, deep lakes, and rich and diverse ecosystems. The tides ebb and flow, baby animals are born in the spring, and tropical rain forests harbor an astonishing array of life. The Earth sustains living things and provides humans with the resources to maintain a bountiful way of life: water, soil, and nutrients to grow food, and the mineral and energy resources to build and fuel modern society, among many other things.

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  • Conserving biodiversity and the ecosystem services that they provide is part of the larger objective of promoting human well-being and sustainable development. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) 2005 has brought about a fundamental change in the way that scientists perceive the role and value of biodiversity, and recognizes the dynamics and linkages between people, biodiversity and ecosystems. Human activities have direct and indirect impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems, which in turn affects the ecosystems services that they provide, and ultimately human well-being.

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  • The fight to stop biodiversity loss is at a critical moment. Species are currently going extinct at up to 1,000 times the natural background rate. Sixty per cent of examined ecosystem services worldwide have been degraded.

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  • Although farmers do not receive any support from society for the contribution of the dehesa to welfare of society and the environment, they still conserve, prune and reforest oaks to maintain fruit production to feed and fatten Iberian pigs during the montanera or pannage. The ability of the Iberian pig breed to feed on acorns is a key feature in maintaining the dehesa.

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  • One of the most important reasons for loss of biodiversity, is that conservation and sustainable use of natural resources is generally not a viable financial option, and this is because of a combination of market and policy failures. Put simply, natural resources are under- valued because no account is taken of the time it takes to produce the next harvest, nor any costs involved in managing lands for future harvests, nor the environmental and social costs associated with loss of products.

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  • The planet is a marvelous place with its blue skies, wild storms, deep lakes, and rich and diverse ecosystems. The tides ebb and flow, baby animals are born in the spring, and tropical rain forests harbor an astonishing array of life. The Earth sustains living things and provides humans with the resources they need to maintain a bountiful way of life. These resources include water, soil, and nutrients to grow food, and the mineral and energy resources to build and fuel modern society, among many other things....

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  • Global change, including climate change, ecosystem shifts and biodiversity loss as a result of explosive human population growth and consumption, is emerging as one of the most important issues of our time (Vitousek, 1994). Climate change in particular appears to be altering the function, structure and stability of the Earth’s ecosystems (Lovelock, 2009). It has been marked by an 80% increase in atmospheric CO2 level and a 0.

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  • As rates of deforestation and land degradation, and losses of biodiversity and ecosystem services, continue to rise globally, the international community is faced with the challenge of finding land use interventions that can mitigate or reduce the impact of these environmental issues. Agroforestry, the integration of trees in farming systems, has the potential for providing rural livelihoods and habitats for species outside formally protected lands, connecting nature reserves, and alleviating resourceuse pressure on conservation areas.

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  • Forest ecosystems cover large parts of the terrestrial land surface and are major components of the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle. Most important, forest ecosystems accumulate organic compounds with long C residence times in vegetation, detritus and, in particular, the soil by the process of C sequestration. Trees, the major components of forests, absorb large amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by photosynthesis, and forests return an almost equal amount to the atmosphere by auto- and heterotrophic respiration.

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  • Many indicators regarding the health of the world’s environment remain firmly in the red. Trends such as climate change, water scarcity, air pollution, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation all continue to threaten our finite stock of natural capital and the ability of our economy to provide sustainable growth and prosperity for all. A great deal of this environmental damage is caused by the way we do business. If we are to create a truly sustainable global economy, then we must change our economic models so that business can become part of the solution, not part of the problem. ...

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  • Transitioning to a low carbon and climate resilient economy, and more broadly „greening growth‟ will require shifting significant amounts of capital from fossil fuels and resource-intensive and polluting technologies to newer, clean technology and infrastructure. The appropriate investment landscape will also need to be supported by policy to drive additional capital towards „greening‟ or accelerated phase-out of long-lived black assets such as coal-fired power plants, refineries, buildings and energy infrastructure.

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  • Biological invasions are one of the major threats to our native biodiversity. The magnitude of biodiversity losses, land degradation and productivity losses of managed and natural ecosystems due to invasive species is enormous. It has an adverse impact on our efforts to maintain biodiversity and on our conservation programs, and thus could create societal instability.

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  • The land and forest fires that hit the ASEAN region in 1997- 1998 have been so severe that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) labeled them as among the most damaging in recorded history. Their environmental, economic and social dimensions and impact, and the associated transboundary haze pollution have been profound. The total economic losses in terms of agriculture production, destruction of forest lands, health, transportation, tourism, and other economic endeavors have been estimated at $9.3 billion....

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  • Three of the world’s greatest challenges over the coming decades will be biodiversity loss, climate change, and water shortages. Biodiversity loss will lead to the erosion of ecosystem services and will increase vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Climate change will lead to water scarcity, increased risk of crop failure, pest infestation, overstocking and permanent degradation of grazing lands and livestock deaths. Water shortages affect agricultural productivity, food security and human health.

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  • Dynamical systems theory in mathematical biology and environmental science has attracted much attention from many scientific fields as well as mathematics. For example, “chaos” is one of its typical topics. Recently the preservation of endangered species has become one of the most important issues in biology and environmental science, because of the recent rapid loss of biodiversity in the world. In this respect, permanence or persistence, new concepts in dynamical systems theory, seem important.

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  • Water contamination weakens or destroys natural ecosystems that support human health, food production, and biodiversity. Studies have estimated that the value of ecosystem services is double the gross national product of the global economy, and the role of freshwater ecosystems in purifying water and assimilating wastes has been valued at US$ 400 billion (2008$) (Costanza et al. 1997). Freshwater ecosystems are among the most degraded on the planet, and have suffered proportionately greater species and habitat losses than terrestrial or marine ecosystems (Revenga et al. 2000).

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  • Nowadays, environmental issues including air and water pollution, climate change, overexploitation of marine ecosystems, exhaustion of fossil resources, conservation of biodiversity are receiving major attention from the public, stakeholders and scholars from the local to the planetary scales. It is now clearly recognized that human activities yield major ecological and environ- mental stresses with irreversible loss of species, destruction of habitat or cli- mate catastrophes as the most dramatic examples of their effects.

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  • Island biogeography is an important subject for several reasons. First, it has been and remains a field which feeds ideas, theories, models, and tests of same into ecology, evolutionary biology, and biogeography. This is because islands provide natural scientists with model systems—replicated and simplified contexts—allowing us to isolate particular factors and processes and to explore their effects.

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  • The nature of environmental challenges has changed considerably in recent decades. Nonetheless, the global nature of environmental problems has long been known, as issues such as pollution, loss of biodiversity, global warming, ozone depletion and tropical deforestation do not respect international borders. One can argue, however, that it is only in recent years that these problems have become widespread matters of concern among the general public. The issue of climate change was at the forefront of the debate on global environmental problems in 2007.

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  • The concept of marine reserves has been repeatedly addressed in the past 25 years, but implementation and subsequent evaluation of these protected areas has been relatively infrequent until the past decade. In recent years, there has been strong advocacy for reserves among the conservation community and those concerned about losses of habitat and biodiversity in the sea.

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