Nature protection and biodiversity (Sweden)
Why should we care about this issue
- Nature and biodiversity
The increasing threat to biodiversity posed by global change, which includes both land use change and climate change, together with invasive alien species, challenges the delivery of ecosystem services for human well-being.
a) Why should we care about this theme?
Biodiversity and ecosystem services are vital for human well-being. The increasing threat to biodiversity posed by global change, which includes both land use change and climate change, together with invasive alien species, challenges the delivery of ecosystem services for human well-being. Hence we did not meet our national target to halt the loss of biodiversity to 2010, and as a consequence we risk losing the functionality in the landscape as ecosystem services will decline. This might affect both economy and human welfare.
Alien species are a threat
Invasive alien species are a growing threat to biodiversity as the rate of introduction is steadily rising because of increasing global trade and transport, increased travel and more efficient methods of transport that enable survival of organisms.
The state and impacts
Sweden’s latest Red List was published in April 2010. The number of species that are red-listed has increased marginally since 2005. Now, 4 127 species are on the Red List.
- Data source
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b) What are the state (S) and impacts (I) related to this theme, including impacts on the natural environment and human health/human well-being, both at national level as well as in transboundary terms?
We did not meet the 2010 target to halt the loss of biodiversity. Many species and habitats are not viable in the long term, as seen for example in the report on species and habitats under the Habitats directive, article 17 (report with English summary, http://www.artdata.slu.se/filer/Arter_och_naturtyper_i_habitatdirektivet_lowres.pdf).
This means that we will continue to lose species and hence also the ecosystem services, or the resilience in ecosystems and ecosystem services, which will have an impact on other species, ecosystems, economy and well-being.
The Red List
Sweden's latest Red List was published by the Swedish Species Information Centre at the end of April 2010. It shows that 4 127 species are qualified for the Red List, which means that the number of species that are red-listed has increased marginally since 2005, from 19.3 % to 19.8 %.
The red list index (RLI, which is also a SEBI indicator) is today 0.921, but there is a difference between different organism groups. The RLI for vertebrates is 0.864 and for vascular plants 0.874, while all other groups have a higher figure, meaning that vertebrates and vascular plants might have a higher risk of extinction,
For a summary of the Swedish Red List see: http://www.artdata.slu.se/rodlista/filer/Rodlista2010-sammanfattning.pdf.
Sweden has recorded more than 2000 alien species and populations, of which 175 are considered invasive.
Go to: http://www.nobanis.org/Charts.asp; Select country: Sweden; Choose type of chart: Number of alien species.
The key drivers and pressures
Designating protected areas does have positive effects on biodiversity but this action still lacks sufficient planning on a larger scale.
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c) What are the related key drivers (D) and pressures (P) at national level?
A landscape perspective is needed
Natural resources are not used in a sustainable way in the everyday landscape. Designating protected areas does have positive effects on biodiversity but this action still lacks sufficient planning on a larger scale, as the individual sites of protected areas need to be understood and within their (or the associated) landscape, i.e. there is a need to have a landscape perspective. This, together with the pressure of global change, increased globalisation of trade and invasive species, puts a high pressure on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Pathways of introduction for alien species in Sweden. Go to:
http://www.nobanis.org/Charts.asp. Select country: Sweden. Choose type of chart: Number of alien species by pathway of introduction.
The 2020 outlook
Sweden will not meet its national environmental quality objective A Rich Diversity of Plant and Animal Life. The trend in introduction of invasive alien species should be reversed by 2015.
d) What is the 2020 outlook (date flexible) for the topic in question and how will this affect possible impacts on the natural environment and human health/well-being?
Costs are important
Focus on ecosystem services gives the opportunity to see the cost of not acting or taking the wrong actions regarding biodiversity. To present the investment potential by including biodiversity in economic calculations will improve the willingness to address biodiversity and ecosystem services. The fact that The Economics of Biodiversity and Ecosystems (TEEB) very nicely presents the link between economy, ecology and human well-being gives a trustworthy platform to start new partnership.
Streamlining biodiversity into other sectors together with a landscape perspective will safeguard sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The 2020 outlook
We will not meet our national environmental quality objective A Rich Diversity of Plant and Animal Life. This is not only due to the fact that we have not taken enough action, but also because for some species there is a time lag before positive effects can be seen. Furthermore, our use of natural resources is not sustainable, and before we develop management that can secure sustainable use of resources, we will not meet this objective. This must be developed within the sectors as well as between sectors and actors. Sweden has developed guidelines for how to work with sustainable use in a landscape perspective and with the ecosystem approach. Hopefully this will contribute significantly to the status of species and habitats.
The trend in introduction of invasive alien species should be reversed by 2015 as Sweden is in the process of adopting a national strategy and action plan for invasive alien species. Sweden has also ratified the Ballast Water Convention and is working on implementing it in cooperation with other regional groups such as HELCOM, OSPAR and the Marine Strategy Directive.
Current trends in introduction of IAS. Go to:
http://www.nobanis.org/Charts.asp; Select country: Sweden; Choose type of chart: Trends in introduction of aliens species. All environments.
Existing and planned responses
New guidelines, work on business and biodiversity, a national strategy for invasive alien species, are some of the responses.
e) Which responses (R) have been put in place or are planned at national level for the theme in question?
- The development of guidelines on how to use a landscape perspective, including the ecosystem approach.
- Ongoing work on business and biodiversity to promote the streamlining of biodiversity into other sectors and into business and finance, showing the investment potential.
A national strategy for invasive alien species has been proposed (in Swedish). In order to implement this strategy, there is a need for political decisions and adequate funding.