Co-hosted by the Mexican government, the First DIVERSITAS Open Science Conference, Nov. 9-12, warned in a statement that biodiversity underpins "a wide variety of ecosystem services that are crucial to human well-being," services that include the regulation of climate and human disease, storm protection and a suite of others.
"Irreversible destruction of biodiversity is taking place globally as a result of human activities, and there is insufficient political and public attention to its extent and consequences," the scientists said in a statement marking the end of a conference, the first to convene experts from all biodiversity-related fields.
Climate change and pollution are leading drivers of biodiversity loss and alteration and the scientists urged the world community to adopt a French government proposal in January for an international panel to coordinate and sift policy-relevant biodiversity research and advise governments, something akin to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Governments, policy-makers and citizens were urged "to launch and support ambitious interdisciplinary research programmes to explore the Earth's biodiversity, the ecological and socio-economic causes and consequences of its changes, and the best means to conserve and sustainably use it."
Needed is "a properly resourced international scientific panel on biodiversity that includes an intergovernmental component and that aims at providing, on a regular basis, validated and independent scientific information related to biodiversity to governments, international conventions, non-governmental organizations, policy makers and the wider public."
Contact: Terry Collins