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UNDP Publication Highlights Biodiversity Loss, Recovery Strategies in Europe and CIS

2 October 2012: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a publication on biodiversity loss in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), highlighting the state of biodiversity in the region particularly in the context of climate change, and presenting some outcomes of its biodiversity work funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The publication, “Biodiversity: Delivering Results in Europe and the CIS,” presents 30 case studies from UNDP's work in 20 of the region's 26 countries, including on forests, tundra, peat lands, freshwater systems, and ecosystems functioning as storehouses for genetic diversity in wild crops related to commercially important or threatened species.

The report notes that current threats to biodiversity in the region include unsustainable use and exploitation, land conversion, habitat fragmentation and rapidly expanding recreational use, as well as the changing climate. Its analysis finds that while the total number of species in the region is relatively small, the percentage of threatened species is large. It highlights strategies for addressing climate threats, such as schemes undertaken in the Russian Federation, Belarus, the Baltic countries, and Ukraine for raising groundwater levels to trigger peat land recovery and the associated accumulation of carbon.

In a press release, UNDP says sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystem services are critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and combating poverty. [Publication: Biodiversity: Delivering Results in Europe and the CIS] [UNDP Press Release]