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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Global biological diversity: 100 questions
Article Type: Features From: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Volume 20, Issue 5
Conservation experts from 24 world-leading organisations including the WWF, Conservation International and Birdlife International have identified 100 key scientific questions that, if answered, would help conserve global biodiversity. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), loss of biodiversity is accelerating despite a global convention committing governments to halt the decline.
Experts say species and habitats are disappearing so fast there needs to be more effort focused on research that helps scientists understand what is behind the loss. There is, however, a problem for conservation bodies trying to curb biodiversity loss. Sometimes, there is a mismatch between the conservation topics academics study and the information conservationists need to help them preserve biodiversity.
The 100 questions, which are published online, could help address this issue. Before a question could be included in the 100, it had to meet eight strict criteria, including: it had to be answerable through realistic research; it had to address important gaps in knowledge; and it had to be on a time and space scale that could be addressed by a research team. The resulting questions are divided up into 12 key sections reflecting issues the conservationists are worried about, such as “climate change”, “ecosystem management and restoration”, “impacts of conservation interventions” and “ecosystem function and services”. The questions are available at: www.nerc.ac.uk/press/releases/2009/09-questions.asp