Evaluating options and trade-offs
Biodiversity and ecosystem services are complex and the interactions between them and development processes are more complex still. With many diverse and conflicting demands on land and natural resources, understanding the likely impacts of current policy decisions on biodiversity is both crucial and challenging. Climate change adds to the complexity of this task.
At UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre we use our skills in modelling ecosystem interactions to explore likely future responses to change. As part of a project funded by the MacArthur Foundation, we are identifying current and future trade-offs between the demand for commodities and biodiversity in the Great Lakes of Africa, the watersheds of the Andes and the Greater Mekong and its headwaters. The project has already modelled current and predicted land use change in the Great Lakes of Africa to reveal which watersheds are important for biodiversity and future commodity provision.