Do Uncertainties in Climate Change Predictions Make It Impossible to Set Priorities for Conservation and Management of Biodiversity?

Essay 2009 5 Pages

Politics - Environmental Policy


1. Introduction

The consequences of climate change to social, economical and environment are becoming the most concern issues of political, business and society leaders in both developed and developing countries (UNEP, 2008). However, prediction of climate change impact becomes the concern among the scientists around the world (Cohen, 1997; Peterson et a !, 1997). Uncertainties in climate prediction are the main obstacle for climate change mitigation and adaptation (Murphy et a !, 2009).The high level of uncertainties in climate changes prediction causes high risk in management action (Peterson et a !, 1997). The uncertainties can mean that the impact of climate change can be lower or higher than expected by scientists (Hare, 2009). According to Bates (2008), uncertainties derive from the range of socio-economic development scenarios, climate model projections, the downscaling of climate effects to local/regional scales, impacts assessments, and feedbacks from adaptation and mitigation activities. In addition, high level in uncertainty can increase the cost of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies (Worldbank, 2009). Moreover, setting up the priorities for conservation and management of biodiversity is the challenge for all the countries in the world because climate change may happen rapidly than the current prediction (Preston, 2006). This is not meant that it is impossible to set up the priorities for conservation and management under the uncertain impact of climate change. This essay will look into the conservation and management measures of biodiversity under the climate variability due to uncertainties in prediction. Then it will highlight some practical examples from both developed and under developed countries.

2. Conservation of biodiversity under uncertainty

In the twenties century, the average temperate of the globe is expected to increase between 1° to 6°C and the change can have tremendous impact on species and ecosystems (DeWeaver, 2007; FAO, 2009a). Adding to human pressure on biodiversity loss, it seems that climate change impact will add another pressure on biodiversity. Climate change has a significant impact of ecosystems but proper management plan can help to reduce the pressure by giving more time for these systems to adapt (CBD, 2007). The impact can affect the timing of reproduction of animal and plant species, the length of growth season, species

distribution, and diseases and pest outbreak (IPCC, 2002). Climate change may push the species to migrate but some species may die due to climate impacts (CBD, 2007). This impact will also affect the species range in different directions since each species always respond to different ecosystems (Hannah et a !, 2002; Thuiller, 2004). However, integration of biodiversity conservation plan into regional planning is the effective approach to balance the ecosystem services and society but the uncertainties of climate impact can limit the effectiveness of this approach (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005).For instance, the uncertainties of climate change impact prediction on fishery in Mekong region creates obstacles to formulate adaptive strategies for fishery management (Halls, 2009). The coastal zone and low land delta areas in Cambodia are also at risk from sea level rise and frequently severe storm due to climate change impact (Huq, 2003). The policy measure to response to climate change is to restore natural connection in the landscapes to ensure species distribution (Lovejoy, 2009). According to Opdam et a ! (2005), large scale ecosystem network is an important strategy to reduce the risk of climate change. The network will allow species to migrate through their ecological ranges and also help to bridge the habitat fragmentation. In the Netherlands, the development of ecosystem (or ecological) network started in 1990 and it was included in the national policy too (En-Natuurplanbureau, 2005).



ISBN (eBook)
File size
410 KB
Catalog Number
Institution / College
Wageningen University
Climate Change Uncertainties Cambodia senario projection biodiversity local knowledge Netherlands Forest Nature Conservation Trend adaptation mitigation ecosystem ecological network species




Title: Do Uncertainties in Climate Change Predictions Make It Impossible to Set Priorities for Conservation and Management of Biodiversity?