Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

Conservation and Sustainable Use of the Biosphere - WBGU

384 K Recommendations for action

question. To that end, management must be directed

at long-term usability, the diversity of abiotic and

biotic factors at the site must be considered and also

the pressure placed on neighbouring ecosystems by

land use in that given area. The model alone is however

not sufficient, practicable instruments (eg indicator

systems) will be required for implementation

and evaluation.

The Council recommends transferring the principles

of multifunctional land use as fully as possible to

agricultural and forestry practice, because the worldwide

introduction of that sort of strategy of land use

promises to be all the more successful the earlier

these practices are also realized in industrialized

countries and the earlier their ecological and economic

benefits become visible there. One urgent

requirement is for pricing to contain the costs of soil

protection, environmental protection and the conservation

of biological diversity.The certification of corresponding

use strategies and the labelling of their

products is an important opportunity for promoting

multifunctional land use.

There is not a great deal of time left if the present

risk-laden and, in its impact, essentially unknown

development trajectory is to be halted. There is an

urgent need for swift and effective action.

K 2.2.7

Counteracting the temporal and spatial separation

of biogeochemical processes

The knowledge about the effects of human intervention

in biogeochemical conversion processes in

ecosystems is essentially available, but so far it has

not been sufficiently evaluated or translated into

action at local or global level. For problems of biogeochemical

build-up and depletion, avoidance or

compensatory strategies must be developed and

employed that aim to link together biogeochemical

cycles in both spatial and temporal terms. Economic

practices that are based on the overexploitation of

national or managed ecosystems must be avoided at

every spatial level. Management directed towards

sustainable use should be identified by the ecolabels

or promoted through other measures in order to offset

the higher costs incurred by these strategies. It

should also be publicized much more that sustainable

land use comes with a price tag.

A possible strategy for avoiding biogeochemically

driven changes in biological diversity is bioregional

management (Section E 3.9), by means of which spatial

disparities can be reduced and regional cycles

strengthened. In order to preserve the necessary

scope for action for the sustainable use of natural

resources, there is a need for systematic recording

and evaluation of the numerous interactions of production,

consumption, trade and environment at different

spatial levels. Internationally, the United

Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) could

assume the requisite coordination. On the whole this

topic area should be addressed to a greater extent.

K 2.2.8

Introduction of alien species: precautionary


In order for the terms employed in connection with

the introduction of alien species to be used uniformly

in national legislation (in Germany in the Bundesnaturschutzgesetz

[Federal Nature Conservation

Act] Art. 20 d II) it is necessary to ascertain and

define clearly the meaning of these terms, which

could be done by the Conference of the Parties (in

cooperation for example with FAO, IMO or WHO)

(Section E 3.6). Furthermore, the provisions in connection

with the introduction of alien natural species

and genetically modified species should be harmonized,

since the problems are of a similar nature.

In many countries the intended introduction of

alien organisms is subject to the obligation to obtain

approval, but deficits often prevail with regard to the

verification of existing regulations and possible sanctions

for violations. In dealing with the problem, the

precautionary principle should always be the basis.

Planned introductions must also be accompanied by

environmental impact assessments. These provisions

should not just apply to releases into agriculture and

forestry, but should be generally applicable.

As a matter of principle the originator must also

be held liable for unintentional introduction of alien

species and the responsible authorities for prevention,

emergency management and early warning

must be determined. Unintentional introductions

could for example be prevented by border and seed

controls (arranged by the IPPC), logistical measures

such as shorter waiting times in container traffic, but

also and above all through awareness-raising in the

population and amongst the major players. In the

context of the CBD the possibility of drawing up

common standards for dealing with alien species

should be examined.

The most important means of transmission for the

worldwide transfer of marine species is the ballast

water on ships. Annually, 10 thousand million tonnes

of ballast water are transported worldwide with

3,000–4,000 species finding a new home in that way

every day (Box E 3.6-1). Since organisms from

coastal waters die in the high seas and plankton from

the high seas cannot survive in coastal waters, the

International Maritime Organization recommends

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