1 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: Biodiversity Synthesis Report The Team: Tundi Agardy, Neville J. Ash, H. David Cooper, Sandra Díaz, Anantha K.Duraiappah (Co-Chair), Daniel P. Faith, Georgina Mace, Jeffrey A. McNeely, Harold A. Mooney,Shahid Naeem (Co-Chair), Alfred A. Oteng-Yeboah, Henrique Miguel Pereira, Stephen Polasky, Christian Prip, Walter V. Reid, Cristián Samper, Peter Johan Schei, Robert Scholes, Frederik Schutyser, Albert van Jaarsveld
2 WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?High rates of extinction – up to 1000 times higher than fossil recordsRates are expected to continue – in fact to go up to ten times higher than our present rateLoss is irreversible - such as coral reef ecosystems that undergo sudden shifts from coral-dominated to algal-dominated reefs
3 Degradation and unsustainable use of ecosystem services Approximately 60% (15 out of 24) of the ecosystem services evaluated in this assessment are being degraded or used unsustainablyDegradedCapture fisheriesWild foodsWood fuelGenetic resourcesBiochemicalsFresh WaterAir quality regulationRegional and local climate regulationErosion regulationWater purificationPest regulationPollinationNatural Hazard regulationSpiritual and religious valuesAesthetic valuesEnhancedCropsLivestockAquacultureCarbon sequestration (in last 50 yrs)
4 WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?There is no doubt many people have benefited over the last century from the conversion of natural ecosystems to human-dominated ecosystems and the exploitation of biodiversity. At the same time, however, these losses in biodiversity and changes in ecosystem services have caused others to experience declining well-being, with poverty in some social groups being exacerbated. It is just not sustainable.Dire consequences on human well-being. The poor in the short run and all of us in the long run.Lets take security -- A common finding from the various sub-global assessments was that many people living in rural areas cherish and promote ecosystem variability and diversity as a risk management strategy against shocks and surprises.Story lines indicate if we move towards a world becoming increasingly regionalized and pursuing economic growth as the main objective.The MDGs are now a critical part in the fight to reduce poverty in developing countries. There is a high certainty of not achieving some of the MDG targets, especially MDG 1 and of course MDG 7 if the present rates of biodiversity loss continue.However, all is not lost as we have scenarios whereby the situation improves – decentralization, democratic regimes promoting proactive management of ecosystem services.
5 WHY ARE WE LOSING BIODIVERSITY WHEN IT IS SO VALUABLE? Many of the costs of changes in biodiversity have historically not been factored into decision-making.Many costs associated with changes in biodiversity may be slow to become apparent, may be apparent only at some distance from where biodiversity was changed, or may involve thresholds or changes in stability that are difficult to measure.Because some ecosystem services are more difficult to value, many decisions continue to be made in the absence of a detailed analysis of the full costs, risks, and benefits.
6 Why the differences?Lets take Cameroon for example---Non-market services like flood protection, NWFP, sedimentation control, carbon sequestration. Small scale agriculture yielded $2000 while not shown in figure, cash crops like rubber and palm oil yielded a negative benefit if $1000/hectare. Under present decision making, the cash crop would most probably be chosen because most of the costs would not have been factored. Sustainable use would benefit the poor the most because they can benefit from most of these services without actually paying for them – example sedimentation control and flood protection. But they will benefit more if the market benefits like carbon sequestration can be channeled back to the local communities.
7 WHAT ARE THE MAIN CAUSES? The main direct drivers identified arehabitat changeclimate changeinvasive speciesPollutionOver-exploitationThe colors tells us the impact on biodiversity loss over the last centuryThe arrows tells us the current trendsThis is not to undermine the five main indirect drivers : demographic (population growth),Economic (to grow further 3 to 6 fold by 2050), sociopolitical (decentralized and democratic-adaptive management), cultural and religious (perceptions and values), and scientific and technological (can improve efficiency but also increase exploitation) .
8 “Unprecedented additional efforts would be required to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss at all levels”Biodiversity will continue to decline this centuryWith appropriate responses:it is possible to achieve by 2010 a reduction of the rate of biodiversity loss for certain components, or for certain indicatorsSeveral of the sub-targets can be met
9 Some possible actions?There are many examples where conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity does work.BUTMore progress in reducing biodiversity loss can be achieved through:Better integration into broader development and poverty reduction strategies and greater coherence and synergies among sectoral responsesmore systematic consideration of trade-offs among ecosystem servicesMore equitable and fair access to and sharing of ecosystem servicesSuccess stories: Community based resource management , the CBD itselfIntegration within broader development and poverty reduction startegies: Biodiversity issues cut across many different departments (agriculture, fisheries, forest, infrastructure). There is a need to get coherence across these ministries with respect to common goals vis.a.vis biodiversity. For example, in Mali, the CBD action plan has been integrated into the country’s PRSPDecision making frameworks which acknowledge trade-offs in a transparent manner and not overlooked, or ignored. Even treated as externalities is not sufficient. Explicit illustration of trade-offs and who bears the cost.My third point – equitable access and sharing of ecosystem services especially regulating services which are in many ways fundamental human rights- access to water, clean air, minimizing exposure to extreme events like floods and droughts