AsianScientist (Jan. 21, 2013) – An international team of biologists has proposed a global monitoring system that measures and reports on biodiversity change or loss.
In an article published in Science on Friday, 30 researchers led by Henrique Miguel Pereira, from the Center for Environmental Biology of the University of Lisbon, proposed a global biodiversity monitoring system based on a set of essential variables.
Examples of essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) include the genetic diversity of wild, crop and domestic species, the population abundances of representative groups of species (such as birds, and threatened and problem plants and animals), the cover and three-dimensional structure of habitats, and nutrient use in sensitive ecosystems.
Co-author Associate Professor Melodie McGeoch of Monash University’s School of Biological Sciences said that over the past 20 years, biodiversity loss has continued at an alarming rate, but there are critical gaps in scientific knowledge.
“Informed policy decisions are essential to a sustainable future, and a globally harmonized system for monitoring essential components of biodiversity is needed to achieve this,” she said.
Lead author Dr. Pereira said it was essential that developing countries are included in the development of a truly global biodiversity monitoring system.
“The biggest gaps in biodiversity monitoring occur in developing countries, in regions receiving some of the largest environmental pressures, and many of these pressures are caused upstream by developed countries,” Pereira said.
Source: Monash University; Photo: Tang Yew Chung/Asian Scientist Magazine.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.