Biodiversity and ecosystem services on the African continent – What is changing, and what are our options?

Type Article
Date 2021-03
Language English
Author(s) Archer E.1, Dziba L.E.2, 25, Mulongoy K.J.3, Maoela M.A.4, Walters M.4, Biggs R.5, Salem M-C. Cormier26, Declerck F.7, Diaw M.C.8, Dunham A.E.9, Failler P.10, Gordon C.11, Harhash K.A.12, Kasisi R.13, Kizito F.14, Nyingi W.D.15, Oguge N.16, Osman-Elasha B.17, Stringer L.C.18, Tito De Morais Luis19, Assogbadjo A.20, Egoh B.N.21, Halmy M.W.22, Heubach K.23, Mensah A.11, Pereira L.24, 26, Sitas N.5
Affiliation(s) 1 : Centre for Environmental Studies/Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria Cnr Lynnwood Road and Roper Street Hatfield, 0028, South Africa
2 : South African National Parks, 643 Leyds St, Muckleneuk, Pretoria, 0027, South Africa
3 : IEL, Montreal, Canada
4 : Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa
5 : Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST), University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1 Matieland 7602, South Africa
6 : Institute of Research for Development, Marseille (IRD), France
7 : EAT Foundation/Bioversity International, Parc Scientifique Agropolis II, 34397, Montpellier Cedex 5, France
8 : African Model Forest Network, Yaounde, Cameroon
9 : Department of Biosciences, Program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX, 77005, United States
10 : University of Portsmouth, Richmond Building Portland Street Portsmouth P01 3DE, United Kingdom
11 : Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies. College of Basic and Applied Sciences. University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana
12 : Biodiversity Central Department, Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs, Cairo, Egypt
13 : Université de Montréal Faculté de l'aménagement, 2900 Edouard Montpetit Blvd, Montreal, Quebec, H3T 1J4, Canada
14 : International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Kigali, Rwanda
15 : Ichthyology Department, National Museums of Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya
16 : Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
17 : African Development Bank, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
18 : School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom
19 : IRD, Univ Brest, CNRS, Ifremer, LEMAR, F-29280 Plouzane, France
20 : Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, University of Abomey-Calavi, 05 BP 1752, Cotonou, Benin
21 : Earth System Science Department, University of California, Irvine, Croul Hall, Irvine, CA, 92697-3100, USA
22 : Department of Environmental Sciences Faculty of Sciences, Alexandria University Cairo, Egypt
23 : Palmengarten and Botanical Garden, Siesmayerstraße 61, 60323, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
24 : School of Arts and Social Sciences of City, University of London, Northampton Square, Clerkenwell, London, EC1V 0HB, United Kingdom
25 : Africa Centre for Conservation Ecology, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
26 : Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST), Stellenbosch University, South Africa and Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC), Stockholm University, Sweden
Source Environmental Development (2211-4645) (Elsevier BV), 2021-03 , Vol. 37 , P. 100558 (9p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.envdev.2020.100558
WOS© Times Cited 6
Keyword(s) Biodiversity, Ecosystem services, Africa, Degradation, Climate change

Throughout the world, biodiversity and nature's contributions to people are under threat, with clear changes evident. Biodiversity and ecosystem services have particular value in Africa– yet they are negatively impacted by a range of drivers, including land use and climate change. In this communication, we show evidence of changing biodiversity and ecosystem services in Africa, as well as the current most significant drivers of change. We then consider five plausible futures for the African continent, each underlain by differing assumptions. In three out of the five futures under consideration, negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services are likely to persist. Those two plausible futures prioritizing environment and sustainability, however, are shown as the most likely paths to achieving long term development objectives without compromising the continent's biodiversity and ecosystem services. Such a finding shows clearly that achievement of such objectives cannot be separated from full recognition of the value of such services.

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Archer E., Dziba L.E., Mulongoy K.J., Maoela M.A., Walters M., Biggs R., Salem M-C. Cormier, Declerck F., Diaw M.C., Dunham A.E., Failler P., Gordon C., Harhash K.A., Kasisi R., Kizito F., Nyingi W.D., Oguge N., Osman-Elasha B., Stringer L.C., Tito De Morais Luis, Assogbadjo A., Egoh B.N., Halmy M.W., Heubach K., Mensah A., Pereira L., Sitas N. (2021). Biodiversity and ecosystem services on the African continent – What is changing, and what are our options? Environmental Development, 37, 100558 (9p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :