Linkages at International, National and Local Levels
The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Frank Maes, An Cliquet, Willemien du Plessis and Heather McLeod-Kilmurray
Chapter 10: Transboundary conservation of mountain biodiversity in a climate change impacted world: Governance perspectives from Central Asia and the Island of Borneo
International boundaries have been drawn for political rather than ecological reasons. Ecosystem components on each side of the boundary line are subject to conflicting management and land use practices. International border areas contain some of the most biologically intact ecosystems in the world. Many sites that merit conservation therefore straddle land boundaries. Due to range shifts induced by climate change more than half of the world’s species are in need of transboundary management. Larger intact ecosystems and therefore transboundary approaches to biodiversity conservation are of increasing importance. Larger intact areas provide a greater variety of conditions for a wider range of species and are likely to be more resilient in the face of climate change. Mountain regions are of prime conservation value due to their high levels of biodiversity. They are also important as large-scale conserva- tion corridors in the advent of climate change. The mountain biome is, however, particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. At the same time the special characteristics of the mountain biome allow the examination of linkages between climate change and ecosystem dynamics which might be undetectable at the continental scale. This, therefore, presents a unique opportunity to inform climate change management on a global scale. Mountains are prominent landscape features which are often used to demarcate national boundaries. Mountain ecosystems often span more than one country, with transboundary approaches often essential to achieving effective landscape level management of mountain biodiversity. Mountain ranges are usually shared among several countries and require transboundary cooperation for their sustainable development.
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