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Biodiversity

North American Environmental Outlook to 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 1, 2010
Abstract in English: 
This report summarizes recent research concerning the major forces and underlying trends that are likely to shape the environment of North America in 2030. The intention of this report is not to present a prediction of the future. Rather, it is to consider the possibilities that the future might hold in light of the environmental and social stresses facing North America and the world at this time.

The report has been produced in response to a request by the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC). It complements the CEC’s 2008 report, The North American Mosaic (CEC 2008), which focused on recent environmental trends and divided issues by subject or medium—air and atmosphere, biodiversity and ecosystems, pollutants, and water. This allows for the telling of a coherent story for each issue, but can hide the interconnections among issues. This report takes a more systems approach, following a Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response model. Thus, it follows more directly from the discussion paper prepared for the June 2008 conference, North America 2030: An Environmental Outlook, hosted by the CEC’s Joint Public Advisory Committee (Stratos Inc. and IISD 2008), upon which it expands. Together, these and other initiatives are intended to assist the CEC in the consideration and development of its work program by highlighting possible areas for cooperative action to support environmental mitigation, adaptation and innovation strategies across all three countries.

Several factors restrict the scope of this report. First, as a review, it is necessarily limited to available work to-date. Second, because it takes a North American perspective, the choice was to focus primarily, although not exclusively, on cases where consistent and comparable information is available for Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This precluded using some country-specific data, which provide greater within-country detail and may differ from similar data presented in international data sets. Third, there are numerous aspects of the environment for which historic data are available, but for which there has been no effort to make forward-looking projections. Fourth, each of these restrictions is exacerbated by the desire to include quantitative information as much as possible. Finally, most studies, including those explored here, have tended not to consider in detail the possibility of dramatic, albeit imaginable, surprises that would alter their projections significantly.
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84
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Options for Sustainable Food and Agriculture in the EU

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
How should Europe respond to the increased demands on our food and agriculture systems arising from global population growth, changing diets, and competing demands on agricultural land? This report offers a view on how the EU could play a role in meeting these challenges in the coming decades and sets out some of the options which merit particular attention. It focuses on options for increasing agricultural productivity whilst adapting to the effects of climate change and reducing emissions from agriculture, the means of reversing continued declines in farmland biodiversity, the reduction of food wastage, ways to achieve a more resource-efficient food sector, and the options for using wastes and residues to meet biomaterial and bioenergy needs in a sustainable way. It brings together some of the analysis and results of five commissioned studies in a synthesis, considering the state of play today and some of the key developments on the horizon moving towards 2050. The European Union has strongly developed common environmental and agricultural policies, and a recently reformed Common Agricultural Policy with a greater emphasis on both the environment and innovation, providing Member States with an opportunity to initiate a change in direction. At the same time, there are major challenges to increasing productivity in an appropriate way whilst reducing damage to European agricultural and natural resources and biodiversity. It will be important to produce more with less in Europe and to cut wastage.
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129
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The Future of Cohesion Policy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The report Future of cohesion policy examines the main issues of debate around the cohesion policy in order to set up the political framework of discussion. Methodologically, this first report is based on an analysis of past debates, predominantly in regional EU fora. Desk-based research was supplemented by thematic discussions with other EU institutions, experts and key stakeholders in the scope of a seminar. Furthermore this study series on the Future of cohesion policy should provide a new impetus to the work of the Committee of the Regions and its members in the policy debates on the efficiency and effectiveness of Cohesion Policy from the perspective of local and regional authorities as well as the main topic of the research: The Cohesion Policy beyond 2020.
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196
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Encyclical Letter LAUDATO SI' Of The Holy Father Francis On Care For Our Common Home

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Abstract in English: 
On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si') is the new appeal from Pope Francis addressed to "every person living on this planet" for an inclusive dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. Pope Francis calls the Church and the world to acknowledge the urgency of our environmental challenges and to join him in embarking on a new path. This encyclical is written with both hope and resolve, looking to our common future with candor and humility.
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184
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Natural Resources in 2020, 2030, and 2040: Implications for the United States

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Based on the general contention that the world is entering an intensified period of resource stress, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) asked Chatham House in July 2011 to conduct research to identify the most important natural resource trends affecting US national security over a 2020, 2030, and 2040 time horizon. The requested analysis covers water, fuel, food, and metals (also referred to as materials). The identified trends—which include patterns of demand, supply, availability, price levels, and price volatility—are shaped and influenced by emerging climate changes, evolving demographic patterns, increasing economic development, and human induced environmental degradation. The result is this report which considers how local and global availability of natural resources will affect US security interests in the medium term (to 2020) and long term (specifically 2030 and 2040). The 2020 date was selected to identify the most pressing policy relevant issues; 2030 was selected to support development of the NIC’s longer-range Global Trends series; and 2040 to support ongoing NIC projects exploring the national security impact of global food, water, and energy security.

The major assumption underpinning this analysis is that mounting prosperity in both the developed and the developing world will continue to drive increased consumer demand for key resources. At the same time, constraints in energy, water, and other critical natural resources and infrastructure, together with socio-economic shifts, will bring new and hard-to-manage instabilities. There will be an increasing risk of discontinuous and systemic shocks to 2040 as a consequence of these factors.

This report identifies potential natural resource stresses (in terms of aggregate availability, absolute prices, or rapid price changes) and analyzes their likely impact on the United States and states/regions of interest to the United States. The report also explores how these stresses will interact with one another and other pre-existing conditions, including poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions. Summary tables (Annex A) provide an overview of key resource-related threats and their potential impact on the United States and other major economies. The risk assessments are based on a continuation of today's practices and trends; alternate policy choices, market actions, and technology developments will likely change future risk assessments.
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112
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Assessment of global megatrends

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, March 2, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The global megatrends report assesses 11 global megatrends (GMT) of importance for Europe's environment in the long term. In assessing key drivers, trends and implications for Europe, it aims to provide an improved basis for strategic European environmental policymaking.
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140
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European ecosystem assessment — concept, data, and implementation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Abstract in English: 
This report summarises EEA contributions to Target 2 Action 5 'Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES)' for the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 (EC, 2011), the Strategy of the EU to meet the global targets of the Convention of Biodiversity (UN, 2010). Europe is becoming greener (Fuchs et al., 2014) but, at the same time, losing biodiversity. At least one-out-of-three species in Europe is threatened with extinction (IUCN, 2011a-d). Many ecosystems are pushed towards the provision of one service — mainly food production — at the cost of the other services they usually provide.
The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 aims towards 'healthy' ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity and provide multiple services for human well-being.
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74
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Marine protected areas in Europe's seas — An overview and perspectives for the future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Europe's seas are under pressure. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can act as a key conservation measure to safeguard marine ecosystems and biodiversity as well as the services these ecosystems provide. The report provides an overview on progress made to date in establishing MPAs and MPA networks in Europe's seas, specifically MPAs reported by European Union (EU) Member States up to and including 2012. It also discusses how best to assess the effectiveness of these MPAs and determine their effectiveness in protecting biodiversity across Europe's seas.
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40
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Global megatrends update: 11 Diversifying approaches to governance

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Abstract in English: 
In the context of rapid globalisation, governments are facing a mismatch between the increasingly long-term, global, systemic challenges facing society and their more national and short-term focus and powers.

The need for more coordinated governance at the global scale has been reflected in the proliferation of international environmental agreements, particularly during the 1990s. More recently, businesses and civil society have also taken an increasing role in governance. This broadening of approaches is welcome but it raises concerns about coordination and effectiveness, as well as accountability and transparency.
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16
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The European environment — State and outlook 2015

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The synthesis report informs future European environmental policy in general and its implementation between 2015 and 2020 in particular. It includes a reflection on the European environment in a global context, as well as chapters summarising the state of, trends in, and prospects for the environment in Europe.
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212
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