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Amid rising concerns, 600 global biodiversity experts meet in Cape Town Oct. 13-16

Amid deepening concern that the pace of biodiversity loss is worsening in many places, some 600 biodiversity experts will converge in Cape Town October 13-16 for the DIVERSITAS Open Science Conference.

Experts say changes to ecosystems and losses of biodiversity have continued to accelerate. Since 1992, the most conservative estimates suggest that total tropical rainforest greater than the size of California has been converted mostly for food and fuel. Species extinction rates are at least 100 times those in pre-human times and are expected to continue to increase. The focus of biodiversity science today, however, is shifting from simply describing problems to solving them.

The conference takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. With an overarching theme of "Understanding connections, adapting to change," the 25 conference symposia topics fall into three broad fields:

  • Strengthening biodiversity science (including a new global monitoring system and the impacts of climate change, land use changes, biodiversity loss);
  • Supporting the interface between science and policy making (including new information synthesis mechanisms, assessing progress towards the world's 2010 biodiversity targets and the success of economic incentives for biodiversity preservation) and;
  • African issues (including the reconciliation of biodiversity conservation and food production)

A detailed news release will be offered prior to the meeting with DIVERSITAS and other experts are available for advance interviews. Full conference details are online at

A news blog will be maintained at


Contact: Terry Collins

Page: 1

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