The world is experiencing unprecedented and accelerating losses of species, ecosystems and genetic variety which are collectively known as biological diversity or biodiversity. This situation has perilous consequences for humanity, which depends on life’s richness and variety for our very existence.
Global trends of population growth, climatic disruption and unsustainable economic activity are driving major losses of irretrievable knowledge and resources. Our knowledge of life on Earth is relatively meager. It is likely that much of life on Earth will vanish before it can be characterized, let alone understood. Vast storehouses of resources and the knowledge of those resources are endangered.
Update: Click here to download AIBS's Top 40 Priorities for Science to Inform US Conservation and Management
NCSE’s 9th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment: Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing World (December 2008) launched our increased efforts to raise awareness of this unfolding catastrophe and advance scientific approaches to understanding and conserving biological diversity. To date these efforts include:
- An international workshop on “Enabling Biodiversity Research: the Roles of Information and Support Networks” in December 2009, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under Grant No. 0970022.
- A stakeholder process and decision maker consultation to develop the “Top 40 priorities for science to inform conservation and management policy in the United States” (2009-2010).
- A symposium "Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing World: Science-Based Strategy for the 21st Century" at the 2009 AAAS meeting.
- A symposium, “The ABCs of Agriculture, Biodiversity, and Climate Change” at the American Institute of Biological Sciences" at the 2009 AIBS meeting.
Our work has been in support of the International Year of Biodiversity (2010) and will continue in connection with the recently declared UN International Decade of Biodiversity (2011-2020).
We invite you to join NCSE’s Linkedin group Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing World and to help us continue to advance the science, understanding and conservation of Life on Earth.
David E. Blockstein, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist, NCSE