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Rice U. ecologist available to speak about world biodiversity report
Rice's Amy Dunham co-authored 3-year-long study of African biodiversity trends
HOUSTON -- (March 23, 2018) -- Rice University ecologist Amy Dunham is available to speak about the landmark global biodiversity assessment reports released today by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in Medellín, Colombia.
The reports show that biodiversity -- the essential variety of life forms on Earth -- continues to decline in every region of the world. In announcing the reports, the IPBES warned that this alarming trend endangers economies, livelihoods, food security and the quality of life of people everywhere.
Often described as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for biodiversity, IPBES is an independent body open to all U.N. members that was jointly established by more than 100 governments in 2012 in response to concerns about the lack of policy-relevant information to tackle threats to biodiversity.
The four IPBES assessments released today cover all regions of Earth except Antarctica and the open oceans. The assessments are part of an ongoing, three-year effort to assess the health of Earth's environment and its relevance to human development and well-being.
Dunham, a specialist in tropical forest ecosystems, is among the lead authors of the Africa assessment.
"These reports present an assessment of the state of the world's biodiversity crisis and its potential impact on people, but they are also a call to action, not only to the world's governments but to the global public as well," said Dunham, who was nominated by the U.S. Department of State to participate in the study based on her research on human impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem processes in Africa and Madagascar.
Dunham collaborated with ecologists, biologists and social scientists from more than 30 countries in writing the Africa assessment. The report's other peer-reviewed assessments cover the Americas, Asia, the Pacific and Europe. The assessments were prepared by more than 550 scientists from 100 countries.
"The overarching goal is to offer global and national leaders the best available evidence and policy advice about how biodiversity loss, mass extinctions and resource depletion are affecting people worldwide," Dunham said.
CAPTION: Amy Dunham (Photo courtesy of BioSciences@Rice)
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