Quantitative scenarios are coming of age as a tool for evaluating the impact of future socioeconomic development pathways on biodiversity and ecosystem services. This study analyzes global terrestrial, freshwater and marine biodiversity scenarios using a range of measures including extinctions, changes in species abundance, habitat loss, and distribution shifts, as well as comparing model projections to observations.
Scenarios consistently indicate that biodiversity will continue to decline over the 21st century. However, the range of projected changes is much broader than most studies suggest, partly because there are significant opportunities to intervene through better policies, but also because of large uncertainties in projections.
The study was conducted by a 23-member scientific team from nine countries, led by experts Henrique Miguel Pereira and Paul Leadley, under the auspices of DIVERSITAS, UNEP-WCMC and the secretariat of the CBD.
Scenarios developed using GLOBIO were used to estimate changes in species abundance in terrestrial ecosystems. In these scenarios a decline is projected of 9-17% in the biodiversity indicator Mean Species Abundance by 2050 relative to 2000.