Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The experts agree on an equivalent of the IPCC for biodiversity

30.11.2007
When will there be an intergovernmental panel on biodiversity along the lines of the IPCC for climate change?

The specialists are hoping such a structure can be set up by the end of 2008. In November, almost 80 of them met in Montpellier and agreed on the remit for such a panel: to provide both independent and credible expertise, build regional and local scientific capacity, make knowledge more accessible and improve the interface between science and policy.

These conclusions are the fruit of two and a half years of international and regional deliberations, organized on all five continents by the Steering Committee for an IMoSEB (International Mechanism of Scientific Expertise on Biodiversity)*. The specialists are planning to organize an intergovernmental conference in 2008, in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which should serve to determine how the structure could be set up.

So that nobody can say in future "we didn't know"

In particular, the conference should take account of the results and consequences of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) conducted between 2001 and 2005 to estimate the impact of human activity on the environment and, conversely, the way in which such changes affect future prospects for terms of human health and wellbeing. The biodiversity experts and those involved in the MEA have a similar view of the current issues surrounding biodiversity. It is not enough to draw up a list of threatened or extinct species. Biodiversity needs to be seen as a whole, in terms of management but also of environmental services rendered, for instance from the point of view of adaptation to climate change.

The disappearance of some species can have dramatic consequences for animal - and subsequently for human - health. For instance, entire regions, such as certain valleys in Nepal, no longer have any pollinators. Another example is the appearance in certain geographical zones of living organisms - seafood toxins, animal viruses, fruit tree parasites - that disrupt the ecosystem and can have serious economic and sanitary consequences.

One idea is to set up a panel of experts drawn from the range of existing networks. International bodies and NGOs need to be involved in the process. All the multilateral agreements are also concerned: the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), the World Heritage Convention, the Ramsar Convention on wetlands, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), that on Migratory Species (CMS), and regional agreements, not forgetting the conventions on climate change and desertification. Everyone needs to realize the merits of setting up a heavyweight federative structure to ensure that nobody - politicians, scientists, economic players or public opinion - can say in future "we didn't know".

The French government is backing the initiative

The ball is now in the politicians' court. The French government has confirmed its support for the initiative. Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, the Secretary of State for Ecology, who was at the Montpellier meeting, stressed the importance of the initiative with regard to the recent "Grenelle de l’Environnement" talks in France. The Minister for Higher Education and Research, Valérie Pécresse, who met Didier Babin, a CIRAD researcher and executive secretary of the process towards an IMoSEB the day after the event, is now due to submit the idea to her peers.

* The executive secretariat of IMoSEB has been entrusted to the Institut français de la biodiversité (IFB), of which CIRAD is a member.

Helen Burford | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cirad.fr/en/actualite/communique.php?id=832

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>