Analysis of Dryland Biodiversity Launched at World Conservation Congress

9 September 2012: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UN Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC) and UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) have launched a report titled "Conserving Dryland Biodiversity."

The report offers the first comprehensive analysis of plant and animal species as well as human populations of drylands around the world. The co-publishers launched the report during the World Conservation Congress, which is convening in Jeju, Republic of Korea.

The publication reviews how to conserve biodiversity while protecting the land from degradation and improving the livelihoods of the rural communities that live and directly depend on the land. It highlights how a majority of the rural communities and small-scale producers that depend directly on the land have a more holistic view because of their multiple uses of the land, and reveals how these areas service human populations along with other ecosystems. It suggests that a more nuanced vision of sustainably developed drylands is needed, calling for an approach that reflects social and ecological realities, and provides a framework against which policies and investments can be assessed. It recommends including the following components in this approach: adapting green economic growth to the drylands; conservation and sustainable management of dryland biodiversity; land health as the basis for secure food and water provision; and resilience and risk management in uncertain environments.

The report was authored by Jonathan Davies, Lene Poulsen, Björn Schulte-Herbrüggen, Kathy Mackinnon, Nigel Crawhall, William D. Henwood, Nigel Dudley, Jessica Smith and Masumi Gudka. The report was prepared in an effort to raise awareness among stakeholders and galvanize wider action to boost drylands conservation and development. [Publication: Conserving Dryland Biodiversity] [CMS Press Release]