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Millions of Ways of Life - Research for Biological Diversity

27.05.2008
The preservation of biological diversity is the focus of the 9th UN Conference on Biological Diversity (COP9), taking place in Bonn from 19 to 30 May 2008.

In an accompanying exhibition organised with the participation of researchers from the Helmholtz Association, issues currently being explored in biodiversity research are presented to the public in a vivid and lucid manner.

"The Helmholtz Association has set itself the task of conducting research to provide for a secure future and this is a responsibility we take very seriously. Thus we established the Helmholtz Association biodiversity working group, where biologists, economists and social scientists are cooperating closely so that the insights they gain can be translated into solid recommendations for action,"explains the Helmholtz Associations President, Prof. Jürgen Mlynek.

The exhibition features twelve huge columns, each of them devoted to portraying a particular scientist who has been instrumental in driving progress in biodiversity research in Germany. The twelve scientists chosen stand for their many fellow researchers around the world who are dedicated to understanding the complex web of life and gaining knowledge that can help us preserve biodiversity and develop strategies for the sustainable exploitation of natural resources. Four of the scientists portrayed in the exhibition work at Helmholtz Research Centres.

Dr. Julian Gutt of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research is trying to determine how climate change affects the sensitive food chains in the Arctic and Antarctic oceans; he discovered a unique ecosystem under the Larsen Ice Shelf on a recent expedition to the Antarctic. Dr. Josef Settele of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) is the coordinator of the biggest European biodiversity research project, ALARM, which aims to document the loss of species in Europe and identify its causes.

Dr. Nele Lienhoop, a social scientist also working at the UFZ, is endeavouring to identify the value biological diversity has for the population of a region and draw up recommendations for public authorities to create ecological "niches" that can acts as refuges for endangered species. Finally, lepidopterist Dr. Xiushan Li, who is currently a visiting scientist at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, observes the behaviour and population dynamics of endangered butterfly species and devises concepts for monitoring and protective measures.

Exhibition:
"Millionen Arten zu leben – Forschung für biologische Vielfalt" (Millions of Ways of Life - Research for Biological Diversity), Plaza of Diversity, near Robert-Schumann-Platz, Stand 30; open Monday to Friday from

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. from 19 to 26 May, and daily between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. from 27 to 30 May.

The brochure Millions of Ways of Life - Research for Biological Diversity, commissioned by the Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), also introduces other projects being undertaken by Helmholtz Association researchers.

The Environment Ministry (BMU) will present the preliminary results of the pilot study on the value of biodiversity at a press conference on 29 May 2008. The TEEB project (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity), commissioned by the BMU and the European Union, is managed by Pavan Sukhdev, head of Deutsche Bank’s Global Market Centre in London. The scientific contributions to the pilot study were co-coordinated by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).

If you have questions regarding the content of the TEEB Report, please contact:
Dr. Heidi Wittmer, Tel. +49 341 235 1629,
http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=1672
Christoph Schröter-Schlaack, Tel. +49 341 235 1639,
http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=3467
At the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) scientists research the causes and consequences of far-reaching environmental changes. They study water resources, biological diversity, the consequences of climate change and adaptation possibilities, environmental and biotechnologies, bio energy, the behaviour of chemicals in the environment and their effect on health, as well as modelling and social science issues. Their guiding research principle is supporting the sustainable use of natural resources and helping to secure these basic requirements of life over the long term under the influence of global change. The UFZ employs 900 people at its sites in Leipzig, Halle and Magdeburg. It is funded by the German government and by the states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

The Helmholtz Association helps solve major, pressing challenges facing society, science and the economy with top scientific achievements in six research areas: Energy, Earth and Environment, Health, Key Technologies, Structure of Matter, Transport and Space. With 25,700 employees in 15 research centres and an annual budget of around EUR 2.3 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germanys largest scientific organisation. Its work follows in the tradition of the great natural scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894).

Tilo Arnhold | UFZ Leipzig-Halle
Further information:
http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=16816
http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=10690

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