Navigation Links
ICSU launches new program to understand the human impact on Earth's life-support systems
Date:10/22/2008

This release is available in French.

Maputo, MozambiqueThe global scientific community has approved a new international research programme designed to understand the relationship between humans and the ecosystems that provide essential life-supporting services. The decision was made today at the General Assembly of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and should help provide the scientific knowledge needed to ensure the sustainable use of our valuable ecosystems.

Ecosystems provide benefits essential for life on Earth (food, water shelter, habitat, recovery of nutrients, soil formation and retention) as well as cultural and recreational services (spiritual, aesthetic, educational and eco-tourism). In 2005, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) reported that, because of human actions, more than 60% of ecosystem services were degraded or being used unsustainably.

'Climate change, pollution, changes in land-use, and invasive species, coupled with population growth, increased consumption, globalization and urbanization, have put enormous pressure on the environment to provide the services that we need,' said Hal Mooney of the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University in California and chair of the expert group recommending the new programme.

'Unless we do something now, the tide of destruction will continue, causing catastrophic loss of biodiversity, widespread poverty and economic crisis.'

While the MA provided a baseline of where society is at in relation to its use of the resources that support us all, there is an enormous amount of research that still needs to be done, particularly in the knowledge areas that were severely lacking when the MA was being carried out.

ICSUalong with UNESCO and the United Nations Universityhas taken the lead on this and will establish 'Ecosystem Change and Human Well-being', a major international programme to help fill some of those knowledge gaps. But this research needs to be done now for it to be part of a second MA, if it were to take place in the next 5-7 years.

Mooney said, 'This programme will engage people outside of the science to set the agenda and use a participatory approach to decide on priorities. That way this programme will be well positioned to answer the policy relevant questions so that changes can be made before it's too late'.

This programme is important not just to feed into an assessment but also because the science itself is important. It links both natural and social sciences with ecosystem services and integrates the three pillars of sustainable developmentenvironment, economic and social.

'Taking an ecosystem services-based approach makes it clear that alleviating poverty and protecting the environment are parts of the same human development agenda, not adversaries', said Bob Scholes, a systems ecologist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa.

'Developing countries, especially those in Africa, have a choice on how they raise the overall wealth of their people: once-off by destroying their abundant natural capital, or sustainably by responsible use.'


'/>"/>

Contact: Jacinta Legg
jacinta.legg@icsu.org
33-145-255-777
International Council for Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. IdentiPHI Re Launches SAFmodule Software to Secure Novell(R) Networks
2. IdentiPHI Re Launches SAFmodule Software to Secure Novell(R) Networks
3. $22 million gift from Alfred Taubman launches new biomedical research institute
4. BioMed Central launches Biology Image Library
5. Arizona State University launches biofuel initiative with BP and Science Foundation Arizona
6. UW launches cutting-edge DNA fin-printing project for salmon
7. SLIM Search Launches Academic Pricing Program
8. EMD Serono launches easypod, new electronic growth hormone injection device
9. Forest Service launches Web-based forest threats viewing tool
10. NIH launches Human Microbiome Project
11. Elsevier launches new journal: Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/15/2016)... Md. , Nov. 15, 2016  Synthetic ... company developing therapeutics focused on the gut microbiome, ... offering of 25,000,000 shares of its common stock ... common stock at a price to the public ... proceeds to Synthetic Biologics from the offering, excluding ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... to their offering. The report ... to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the period 2016-2020. ... in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers ... The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... 21, 2016 NuData Security announced today that ... of principal product architect and that Jon ... customer development. Both will report directly to ... moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth in its product ... customer demand and customer focus values. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016 CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR ... oncology, today announced the appointment of Earl Warren ... and private healthcare investor, to its Board of Directors. ... clinical and strategic experience at the highest level," said ... "As one of the world,s leading orthopedic surgeons, Dr. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... pneumatic tube systems for North American hospitals, will present its chain-of-custody solution for ... and Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 4-8, 2016. , Aerocom has a ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... Nanowear on their recent FDA Class II 510(k) clearance for their flagship medical ... in commercializing remote cardiac monitoring devices that rely on cloth-based nanosensors. While other ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... PUNE, India , December 2, 2016 ... Billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 7.3% during the ... segment while hospitals and diagnostic laboratories segment accounted for the largest ... ... Complete report on global immunohistochemistry (IHC) market spread across 225 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: