If in the future 9 billion people on this planet are to be assured of food and clean drinking water, the demand for land will be just as pressing a problem in the coming decades as climate change is now. Considering that a well-balanced ecosystem is one of the essential conditions for the supply of food and water, also the protection of biodiversity is of great importance. This is one of the main conclusions drawn in UNEP’s Fourth Global Environment Outlook, 'Environment for development' (GEO-4).
The GLOBIO model was used in GEO-4 to analyse the consequences in four alternative scenarios for the remaining terrestrial biodiversity, in terms of the biodiversity indicator MSA. Next to different land-use scenarios, four alternative routes were designed to increasing the extent and use of protected areas (developed by UNEP-WCMC).
The analyses showed that global terrestrial biodiversity continues to be threatened, with strong implications for ecosystem services and human well-being (figure). However, there are clear differences among the scenarios in the magnitude and location of change . The greatest losses are seen in the scenario Markets First, followed by Security First, Policy First and Sustainability First for most regions. Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean experience the greatest losses of terrestrial biodiversity by 2050 in all four scenarios.