10 Mar 2020 Story Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Ten biodiversity-related publications to look out for in 2020

Photo by Peter Prokosch, GRID-Arendal

Scientists and most governments agree that the world is facing an unprecedented environmental crisis with huge numbers of species on the brink of extinction and global temperatures continuing to rise.

Nature-based solutions offer the best way to achieve human well-being, address climate change and protect the planet. Yet nature is in crisis, as we are losing species at a rate 1,000 times greater than at any other time in recorded human history.

Humans depend for their very survival on stable and healthy ecosystems and urgent action is needed in 2020 to get the world on track to a more sustainable future. This is being called a
“super year for the environment”—a make or break year which will set the tone and agenda for environmental action in the decade ahead.

To find out more about what’s in stock for the future of our planet, look out for these 10 major publications by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) scheduled for release in the coming months. NOTE: dates listed below are subject to change.

End of March

Global Seagrass Report

One of the most threatened yet overlooked ecosystems on Earth, seagrass could have a promising future thanks to its ability to absorb carbon.

18-23 May

State of the World’s Forests 2020—Forests, Biodiversity and People

An annual publication of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, this report looks at the status of forests, recent major policy and institutional developments and key issues concerning the forest sector.

Global Biodiversity Outlook 5

Released by the Convention on Biological Diversity, this key report includes an analysis of the steps being taken by the global community to ensure biodiversity conservation, sustainable use and the equitable sharing of any benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

2–6 June

Impact of Sand and Dust Storms on Oceans

The report examines the state of our knowledge on how sand and dust storms impact marine ecosystems and livelihoods. The aim is to launch it at the Oceans Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, 2–6 June.

Mapping the impacts of land-based activities on coastal resources in support of the sustainable blue economy

Authored by UNEP’s International Resource Panel, the study provides a holistic picture of the impact of land-based activities on coastal resources and proposes effective governance responses to address those impacts. The main body of the report presents a global analysis of the multiple pathways through which land-based activities can impact coastal resources. This is followed by an assessment of the vulnerability of the economic sectors that rely upon coastal resources, with a view to determining implications for the blue economy. The report includes two case studies, on mining and aquaculture.

Regional Seas Programme Sustainable Development Goal 14 Outlook Report

This report is a gap analysis between what is being done and what should be done using case studies under the regional seas framework.

Human Health and Ocean Pollution

An assessment of the current situation and emerging threats.


Global Coral Reef Report

UNEP, the International Coral reef Initiative, the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network will produce a report on the status of the world’s coral reefs.


Global Synthesis Report on Biodiversity

A team of the highest-level global scientists from all major global assessments is being brought together by UNEP to develop two science-based advocacy products:

Protected Planet 2020 Report

The Protected Planet Report 2020 will review and update progress made globally towards achieving Aichi Target 11 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. It will highlight the role of protected and conserved areas as a key strategy for biodiversity conservation.

In addition to important moments for decision makers, including the COP 15 on Biodiversity, the 2020 “super year” is a major opportunity to bring nature back from the brink. The future of humanity depends on action now.