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Are these trends on your horizon yet?

Published on:
  • Coastal resilience
  • Coastal wetland conservation
  • Integrated delta management

How to stay posted about the emerging trends for ecosystems and biological diversity that are currently on the margins of mainstream discussion?

A group of 24 practitioners, journalists and scientists published the 2016 Horizon Scan Paper, which lists the top 15 threats and opportunities that either will have a high likelihood of occurrence or that may have substantial impact on a global scale. Some may be on the distant horizon whereas others already may be affecting biological diversity. The scan is convened by Cambridge University and helps researchers, policy makers, and practitioners consider them for research, policy and practice.

To give you a glimpse: Artificial intelligence can help identify species with extremely high accuracy, and may be used for early detection and control of pests, or for managing regulation of floods. This offers opportunities, but are its broader effects on the environment foreseen? And did you know that artificial glaciers have been created in the Himalayas as a mechanism to increase the supply of water for agricultural irrigation in response to climate change? What are the potential impacts of “blue energy” in our estuaries, and of nanoparticles on soil microbial activity? Will the declining extent of sea ice in the Central Arctic Ocean lead to uncontrolled and unsustainable levels of commercial fishery in the area? And what is Electric Pulse Trawling?

The 2016 horizon scan of conservation issues is now published and available free of charge here. Wetlands International participates in the Horizon Scan to stay on top of emerging trends. You can approach us for more information through [email protected].