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Top priorities in biodiversity science agreed
Date:3/26/2012

Concluding a four-year global consultation, international experts have agreed on key efforts needed to reduce the on-going loss of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services.

On Day 2 of the Planet under Pressure conference in London (planetunderpressure2012.net) March 27, leaders of the global biodiversity research programme DIVERSITAS described the urgent need to better understand the "5 Ws" -- who, what, where, when and why -- of biodiversity loss, and how humanity might mitigate it.

Human well-being depends on ecosystems like forests and coral reefs continuing to provide "ecosystem services" including food, pollution treatment and climate regulation, scientists say. Many ecosystems "are underpinned by biodiversity," the losses of which "severely undermine the delivery of these ecosystem services."

The top priorities:

  • Creating criteria to identify, monitor, and report the most urgent cases of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss and how humanity can avoid or mitigate the problems. Researchers today lack a framework to identify the most serious cases of biodiversity loss, what's causing them, critical tipping points, the people most at risk, and potential interventions - including how to adapt to a fait accompli in some situations.

  • Improving human efforts to defend biodiversity and ecosystem services in the midst of global change, while recognizing resource scarcity and competing demands. This includes accountable governance and management systems well informed of the trade-offs involved in decisions, studying how humanity in the past maintained biodiversity in the face of environmental and social changes, and promoting individual human behaviour to mitigate and adapt to biodiversity and ecosystem service losses.

  • Understanding the factors underpinning the patterns, origins, functions and changes in biodiversity. This includes understanding biophysical processes and eco
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-538-8712
Diversitas
Source:Eurekalert

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