IUCN示警:氣候變遷已成為自然襲產的頭號威脅

環資中心 2021/02/23 12:00(2天前)
2021年02月23日 環境資訊中心外電;姜唯 翻譯;林大利 審校;稿源:ENS 環境資訊中心外電;姜唯 翻譯;林大利 審校;稿源:ENS

世界自然保育聯盟(International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN)最新評估發現,氣候變遷現在已是世界自然襲產的最大威脅。

IUCN發現,氣候變遷現在已是世界自然襲產的最大威脅,例如使珊瑚白化。照片來源:ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies/ Laura Richardson(CC BY-ND 2.0)
氣候變遷打敗入侵物種 成自然襲產的頭號威脅

自然襲產是聯合國教科文組織所認定,擁有特殊地貌、罕見生態過程、重要棲息地和生物多樣性的地點,是地球上最有價值的自然資產。但現在有1/3的自然襲產受到氣候變遷的影響,包括世界最大的珊瑚礁——澳洲大堡礁。IUCN最新的三年一期報告中將大堡礁標示為「危急」。

IUCN世界襲產展望報告第三版以2014年和2017年的報告為基礎,持續追踪世界上252個自然襲產的保護措施,是否確實足以長期保護它們。研究發現,氣候變遷已超過入侵物種,成為自然襲產的頭號威脅。自2017年以來,更多的自然襲產狀況非但沒有改善甚至惡化。

根據世界氣象組織(WMO)的資料,2020年是史上最熱的三個年份之一,跟2016年並列第一。WMO說,2011~2020年是有記錄以來最熱的10年,而且如此的氣候變遷趨勢是長期持續的。

IUCN世界襲產展望第三版 說明氣候變遷對襲產的危害

IUCN總幹事、瑞士生物與環境科學家奧伯萊(Bruno Oberle)說:「IUCN世界襲產展望第三版,說明氣候變遷對自然襲產造成的危害,包括冰川萎縮、珊瑚白化、越來越頻繁嚴重的大火和乾旱。」奧伯萊2020年7月上任,接替現任聯合國環境規劃署署長安德森(Inger Andersen)。

目前受氣候變遷威脅的83個自然襲產之一的大堡礁,發生海洋暖化、酸化和極端天氣,珊瑚數量急劇下降、海洋物種數量減少。

在另一個自然襲產南非開普花卉保護區,氣候變遷加劇了入侵物種的擴散,巴西潘塔納爾自然保護區則是在2019~2020年間發生史上最大野火。

加拿大的育空地區與英屬哥倫比亞省和美國阿拉斯加的邊界兩側,是地球上最大的國際保護區,也是自然襲產。這裡有壯觀的冰川和高聳的山峰,包括加拿大最高峰洛根山(Mount Logan),是白大角羊、岩羊、馴鹿、狼、灰熊和黑熊的棲地。但是氣候變遷正使聖伊萊亞斯山脈的Kaskawulsh冰川迅速融化,改變了河水流量,使魚類族群枯竭。

陽光照耀下的Kaskawulsh冰川。照片來源:Richard Droker(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
武肺減輕自然襲產生態系統壓力 也帶來負面效果

IUCN世界襲產展望報告第三版,根據威脅狀況和保護管理水準,評估世界襲產的價值前景,並判斷63%的地點為「良好」或「良好但有部分疑慮」,30%的地點為「重大疑慮」,7%的地點為「危急」。

有一半的世界襲產具有「有效」或「高效」的保護和管理,而資金的穩定性是最常見的問題,被評為「嚴重問題」。

報告指出,自2017年以來,有16個自然襲產狀況惡化,只有8個狀況改善。

該報告還發現,武漢肺炎(COVID-19)的發生,雖使遊客人數減少,可能減輕某些生態系統的壓力,但在更多情況下卻帶來負面效果。關閉旅遊景點造成嚴重的收入損失,非法活動增加,但可動用因應的人員卻變少。

IUCN世界襲產計畫主任沙迪(Peter Shadie)說:「IUCN世界襲產展望第三版顯示,珍貴自然環境迫切需要足夠的資源來管理。從許多自然襲產的案例可看出,保護工作確實可以發揮更大的作用,可以擴大規模和複製到其他地方。」

象牙海岸東北部的科莫埃國家公園從2014年的「危急」狀態,2017年進步到「重大疑慮」,今年再度改善為「部分疑慮」。由於政治穩定,加上有效的管理和國際支持,黑猩猩、大象和水牛的數量回穩,稀有鳥類開始回歸。

Changing Climate Top Threat to Natural World HeritageGLAND, Switzerland, February 17, 2021 (ENS)

Climate change is now the biggest threat to natural World Heritage sites with their incomparable landscapes, rare ecological processes, critical habitat and exceptional biodiversity, finds a new assessment by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN.

A third of natural World Heritage sites are threatened by climate change, including the world’s largest coral reef, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which was labeled of “critical” concern for the first time in the latest in IUCN’s tri-annual Outlook report series.

IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3 builds on previous reports from 2014 and 2017 to track whether the conservation of the world’s 252 natural World Heritage sites is sufficient to protect them in the long term. It finds that climate change has overtaken invasive species as the top threat to natural World Heritage and that since 2017 more sites have deteriorated than improved.

Natural World Heritage sites are some of the Earth’s most valuable natural assets as recognized by the countries where they occur and by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, which in 2008 defined them as “irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration…our touchstones, our points of reference, our identity.”

But the climate keeps heating up. The year 2020 was one of the three warmest on record, and rivaled 2016 for the top spot, according to a consolidation of five international datasets by the World Meteorological Organization, WMO. 2011-2020 was the warmest decade on record, “in a persistent long-term climate change trend” the agency says.

“The IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3 reveals the damage climate change is wreaking on natural World Heritage, from shrinking glaciers to coral bleaching to increasingly frequent and severe fires and droughts,” said IUCN Director General Bruno Oberle, a Swiss biologist and environmental scientist appointed in July 2020 to replace Inger Andersen who now heads the UN Environment Programme, UNEP.

Among the 83 natural World Heritage sites now threatened by climate change is the Great Barrier Reef, where ocean warming, acidification and extreme weather have contributed to dramatic coral decline, and as a result, to decreasing populations of marine species.

In the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas of South Africa, climate change has aggravated the spread of invasive species, while the Pantanal Conservation Area of Brazil was ruinously scorched by unprecedented wildfires in 2019-2020.

The largest internationally protected area on the planet is a World Heritage site in Canada and the United States. A string of parks comprises an impressive complex of glaciers and high peaks on both sides of the border between Canada’s Yukon Territory and Province of British Columbia and Alaska in the United States. The area contains Mount Logan, the highest peak in Canada, and Dall sheep, mountain goats, caribou, wolves, grizzlies and black bears. But climate change is causing trouble; the rapidly melting Kaskawulsh Glacier in the St. Elias Mountains has changed the river flow, depleting fish populations.

The IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3 assesses the prospects for World Heritage site values based on threats, and on how good protection and management is. It judges 63 percent of sites as either “good” or “good with some concerns,” while 30 percent are of “significant concern” and seven percent are “critical.”

Half of the sites were found to have “effective” or “highly effective” protection and management, with the sustainability of the sites’ funding being the most common issue rated as a “serious concern.”

The Outlook finds that 16 natural World Heritage sites have deteriorated since 2017, while only eight have improved.

The report also finds early evidence of the effects of the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While lower tourist numbers may ease pressure on some ecosystems, in more cases impacts appear negative. Closing sites to tourism causes significant revenue loss, and illegal activities are on the rise with fewer staff available to prevent them.

“The findings of the IUCN World Heritage Outlook 3 point to a dire need for adequate resources to manage our irreplaceable natural areas,” said Peter Shadie, director of IUCN’s World Heritage Programme. “Many natural World Heritage sites show that conservation can and does work for the greater good, and their achievements serve as models that can be replicated and scaled up elsewhere.”

The outlook of Comoé National Park continues to improve and is now “good with some concerns” after moving from “critical” in 2014 to “significant concern” in 2017. Due to political stability, effective management and international support, populations of chimpanzees, elephants and buffalos are stable, and rare birds are starting to return.

Dr. Oberle said, “Natural World Heritage sites are amongst the world’s most precious places, and we owe it to future generations to protect them.”

※ 全文及圖片詳見:ENS

IUCN世界自然遺產大堡礁大火乾旱冰川珊瑚武漢肺炎國際新聞氣候變遷 作者 姜唯

如果有一件事是重要的,如果能為孩子實現一個願望,那就是人類與大自然和諧共存。

林大利

於特有生物研究保育中心服務,小鳥和棲地是主要的研究對象。是龜毛的讀者,認為龜毛是探索世界的美德。

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