Policy- and decision-making in the Asia-Pacific Region to realise sustainable, green growth practices need to be underpinned by sound scientific knowledge, and effective mechanisms are required to effectively link biodiversity and ecosystem services (B&ES) to sustainable development and green growth.
In view of these pressing needs and along the lines of actions under the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, APN has undertaken a series of activities over a two-year period culminating a B&ES framework as outlined in a recently released Opportunity Paper.
Opportunities under the B&ES framework
A series of meetings and workshops since February 2011 has identified important existing gaps for the Asia-Pacific region requiring attention through comprehensive scientific research, capacity development and science-policy mechanisms.
In light of these findings, APN invites partners to propose collaborative activities that will provide opportunities, particularly in developing countries, to engage in activities under its B&ES Framework, in the following areas:
Identification of drivers and pressures for biodiversity change that influence ecosystem services
- Supporting the articulation of biodiversity and ecosystem indices
- Understanding the dynamics of land and land-use change on biodiversity resources and ecosystem services including the influence of climate change
Assessment of the impacts of biodiversity loss and vulnerability to the shrinking of ecosystem services
- Enhancing knowledge and understanding on the role of biodiversity in nature as a way of conferring ecosystem resilience and reducing vulnerabilities in the face of global environmental change
- Research that will identify and document ecological tipping points; Research that will illustrate the linkages between socio-cultural knowledge and livelihoods to different levels of biodiversity
- Case studies that will support the work of international programmes on evaluation of changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services AP-BON
Prediction of changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services through model-based scenarios
- Build spatially-explicit models for areas of interest within the Asia-Pacific region that enable the potential for future change in biodiversity and ecosystem services to be assessed as a function of plausible scenarios of change in land use, climate and invasive species
- Extending these models to incorporate the potential consequences of spatially-explicit configurations of management responses in terms of multiple values of diversity in nature and ecosystem services
- Establishing links between models and associated models of human-natural systems and between these models and global-scale scenario modelling of biodiversity and ecosystem services
Adaptation, response and mitigation of the depletion of biodiversity and ecosystem services
- Elucidating parsimony and conflict between carbon management and biodiversity conservation as key mitigation strategies
- Integrating the human dimensions into action for biodiversity conservation and carbon management
- Restoring biodiversity in disturbed or managed ecosystems
- Synthesizing best practices for adaptation and mitigation for biodiversity and ecosystem services
Some of the key activities related to the above four themes are outlined in the Opportunity Paper, and other activities could include awareness-raising, capacity development, and science-policy mechanisms.