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World Biodiversity Day and the issues for overseas regions


Europe, and particularly France, are in a unique position in terms of the diversity of their overseas communities, outermost regions (ORs) and overseas countries and territories (OCTs). These regions, which may be islands or continental and are often in the tropics, are home to an exceptional degree of biodiversity, but it is under great threat. They also shed light on and are of use in assessing the impact of human activity on biodiversity.

Our understanding of the interactions between biodiversity and human activity may provide vital information of use in establishing a truly sustainable development policy. To this end, CIRAD is increasingly working with national and regional partners on so-called integrated research projects.

As stressed by Philippe Feldmann, a biodiversity researcher at CIRAD, "the initial aim is to characterize biodiversity and the factors in its evolution. Ecosystems may be ’natural’, like the Amazonian forest, or more or less manmade, like those interacting with the specific types of farming systems developed in such regions".

The second stage will involve modelling, assessing and anticipating on the consequences for tropical biodiversity of the major global changes resulting from human activity. The models produced will allow us to forecast probable changes in other environments. By working closely with local communities, the methods and tools developed should facilitate sustainable development of global biodiversity.

Philippe Feldmann | alfa
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