Protected areas for the 21st century: lessons from UNDP/GEF's portfolio
Island and Ocean Ecosystems
The world’s biodiversity – the species, ecosystems and ecological processes that compose the natural world – are of incalculable value to humanity. The world’s agricultural systems depend upon biodiversity to sustain genetic plant and animal diversity, to provide pollination services, and to maintain irrigation services.1 The world’s cities depend upon biodiversity to provide clean drinking water to their burgeoning populations.2 The world’s coastal communities, in which one-half to two-thirds of all of humanity resides,3 depend upon the natural infrastructure of coral reefs, sea grass beds, and mangroves to buffer them from the impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise and increased storm surges. The world’s inland communities depend upon the natural infrastructure of healthy forests, grasslands and wetlands to buffer them against increased drought, flooding, disease and natural disasters.