An ecoregion is a large area of water or land that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities that (a) share a large majority of their species and ecological dynamics, (b) share similar environmental conditions, and (c) interact ecologically in ways that are critical for their long-term persistence. Biological distinctiveness is a scale-dependent assessment of the biological importance of an ecoregion based on species richness, endemism, relative scarcity of ecoregion type and rarity of ecological phenomena. Biological distinctiveness classes are "globally outstanding", "regionally outstanding", "regionally important" and "locally important".
Plantlife, UK and the French Ministry of Environment organized the conference [Planta Europa], the first European conference on the conservation of wild plants, in HyÃ¨res, France, on 2-8 September 1995. Planta Europa has since developed into a network with the mission of conserving the wild plants of Europe and their habitats. The flagship project of the network is the identification of [Important Plant Areas] (IPAs) in Europe. IPAs are "natural or semi-natural sites exhibiting exceptional botanical richness and/or supporting an outstanding assemblage of rare, threatened and/or endemic plant species and/or vegetation of high botanical value". Planta Europa aims to produce a country-by-country list of IPAs in Europe on the basis of common criteria. IUCN will cooperate with Planta Europa in this work.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.