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Titans of biodiversity science call for united, authoritative voice to inform decision-makers

Warning that Earth is on the verge of "a major biodiversity crisis," 19 of the field's most distinguished scientists and policy experts today called for a new global coordinating mechanism to provide a united, authoritative scientific voice to inform government decision-making internationally.

And they called upon the wider scientific community and stakeholders to lend active support to a newly established consultation process designed to create just such an international organizing and unifying mechanism for science advice on biodiversity.

Published in the UK journal Nature (July 20 edition), leading experts from 13 nations Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, the USA and the UK signed a blunt declaration saying the gap between biodiversity science and public policy must be closed urgently and that the world's science community must be far more strongly organized and integrated.

According to the group: "Virtually all aspects of biodiversity are in steep decline and a large number of populations and species are likely to become extinct in the present century. Despite this evidence, biodiversity is still consistently undervalued and given inadequate weight in both private and public decisions. There is an urgent need to bridge the gap between science and policy to take action."

That gap, they say, has closed with respect to climate change policy making is informed by the world's science community speaking with a single authoritative voice through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The experts signing today's statement call for the urgent creation of an inter-governmental mechanism akin to the IPCC to likewise speak for the biodiversity science world.

Signatories include Robert Watson, Chief Scientist at the World Bank, who chairs or has chaired several global scientific collaborations including the IPCC, the Millenniu
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
Diversitas
19-Jul-2006


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