Need for conservation planning in postconflict Colombia

More than 80% of recent major armed conflicts have taken place in biodiversity hotspots, including the Tropical Andes which is home to the world’s highest concentrations of bird, mammal, and amphibian species, and more than ten percent of all vascular plant species (Mittermeier et al. 2004; Hanson et al. 2009). Armed conflicts not only seriously impact social and political systems, but also have important ramifications for biodiversity, from the time preparations for conflict start through to the post-conflict period (Machlis & Hanson 2008). Read full story here.

Recent increases in human pressure and forest loss threaten many Natural World Heritage Sites

Natural World Heritage Sites (NWHS), via their formal designation through the United Nations, are globally recognized as containing some of the Earth's most valuable natural assets. Understanding changes in their ecological condition is essential for their ongoing preservation. Here we use two newly available globally consistent data sets that assess changes in human pressure (Human Footprint) and forest loss (Global Forest Watch) over time across the global network of terrestrial NWHS. We show that human pressure has increased in 63% of NWHS since 1993 and across all continents except Europe. The largest increases in pressure occurred in Asian NWHS, many of which were substantially damaged

To conserve or exploit: the choice is ours

The environmental footprint of humanity is truly massive, covering some 80 percent of Earth. Indeed, over our planet’s 4.5 billion year history — at least two-thirds of which has sustained life — no other species has ever come close to us when it comes to consuming the world’s energy, resources, and land area. That’s a scary thought, especially as we contemplate the environmental consequences of having up to 12 billion people on Earth by the end of this century. Full story here.

Land clearing accelerating across Queensland

Land clearing is accelerating across eastern Australia, despite our new research providing a clear warning of its impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, regional and global climate, and threatened native wildlife. (News coverage) Over 600 threatened species (including both animals and plants) across Australia are impacted by land clearing, habitat fragmentation or habitat degradation. Nearly 500 species are threatened by grazing and the associated habitat changes. In Queensland, habitat loss is a key threat for 67% of threatened animal species, but a maximum limit to the amount of habitat that can be cleared is only mentioned in 10% of recovery plans. The endangered Black-throated finch, which h

We helped deliver Malaysia’s largest marine park

At 898,000 hectares, Tun Mustapha Park is one of the few systematically planned networks of marine protected areas in the Coral Triangle- the epicentre of the world’s marine biodiversity. It is Malaysia’s largest marine park and is home to 187, 000 people, nearly half of which depend on TMP’s reef ecosystems for their livelihoods and sustenance. As such, TMP is a flagship project of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral reefs, Fisheries and Food Security. Above photo: Sea cucumber farms in a remote village in Northeast Banggi Island The University of Queensland played a central role in establishing TMP, which used an iterative consultation process underpinned by the decision support tool, M

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