UNEP - WCMC annual report 2001
Biodiversity is the defining characteristic of planet Earth. But our understanding of living things, their role in ecological processes and, most importantly, their significance to our own future, remains poor. What we do now know is that human beings dominate all other species. We divert more than one third of the sun's life-giving power to feed ourselves and our livestock, we have transformed around one third of land to agriculture, and we capture probably more than half the fish production of the oceans and seas every year. The Centre's role is to establish and communicate the impact this dominance has on other life forms, and to evaluate this in terms of its sustainability. Turning complex data into policy-relevant information is one of the tasks that the Centre does best. The World Atlas of Coral Reefs and our input to the Biodiversity Convention's Global Biodiversity Outlook are good examples of successes in 2001. In the coming year we will, amongst other projects, develop further assessments on the world's mountains, seagrass beds and great apes.