Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Biodiversity has roots in global health

23.05.2003


A crucial part in the battle to prevent outbreaks of deadly disease across the world lies with ecologists, an MSU professor says.



Preserving biodiversity and wildlife habitats are at the foundation of global health, says Jianguo "Jack" Liu, an ecologist who is the lead author for a Policy Forum in the May 23 issue of Science magazine.

The article outlines ways to protect biodiversity in China’s vast system of nature reserves. But Liu said the issues span farther than China, and are vital to more than pandas and gingko trees.


"As we look at outbreaks of diseases such as SARS and AIDS, there are indications that many diseases may cross over from animals," Liu said. "If the ecosystem isn’t healthy, then human health is in jeopardy."

The Policy Forum outlines the importance of finding better ways to protect China’s rich biodiversity in its 1,757 nature reserves, as well as the challenges of meshing ecology with socioeconomics. It is authored by Liu, his research colleagues Zhiyun Ouyang, Xiaoke Wang and Hong Miao from the Chinese Academy of Sciences; Stuart Pimm of Duke University; Peter Raven from the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis; and Nianyong Han of China’s National Committee on Man and Biosphere in Beijing.

The meshing of ecological and social sciences is the key to success, the paper notes, since the needs of nature and of humankind cannot be separated. The authors outline the push and pull in China – tourism both providing needed funding for maintenance of reserves, yet at the same time degrading habitat; villagers’ need for fuel wood to cook food and heat homes conflicting with forest preservation.

Because of this intricate interdependence, Liu and colleagues note that simple conservation education historically has not been enough to always sway people to jump on the ecology bandwagon.

"We need to address the bottom line when we’re talking about conservation: How to help people," Liu said. "If people’s basic necessities aren’t being met, they’ll do what they have to do to survive."

Liu’s group at MSU, partnering with researchers in China, has worked to understand not only the biology of habitat in China and other parts of the world, but also the social and economic pressures that affect habitat.

It’s important, Liu said, that people understand the longer-range benefits of preserving biodiversity. He points out that China holds a wealth of known and as-yet-to-be-discovered plants and animals with medicinal benefits.

"Once a species is lost, it cannot be restored," he said. "This isn’t like air or water pollution, which can be fixed. We need to better understand the complex linkages between biodiversity, human health, and economic development. We’re not just talking about the environment here. We’re also working to obtain long-term economic and health benefits to the world."


The work is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Jack Liu | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://newsroom.msu.edu/news/archives/2003/01/households.html
http://www.panda.ur.msu.edu
http://newsroom.msu.edu/news/archives/2001/04/pandas.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>