The Consortium for the Barcode of Life (CBOL), a global initiative assembling the “DNA barcodes” of the world’s endangered species, received $3 million from Google this month to create an online database organizers hope will emerge as a critical tool in the enforcement of international wildlife protection laws. Since it was formed in 2004, the consortium’s 200 participating organizations have collected genetic information for more than 100,000 species. With tens of thousands of species currently in danger of extinction, project organizers hope the database will provide a quick and inexpensive way to identify species, including many that are regularly smuggled through airports. Read More
Countries need to ensure that their forest monitoring activities under REDD+ move beyond just measuring carbon emissions and changes in forest area – they should be integrated with monitoring of other forest values like biodiversity and rural social conditions, said experts on the sidelines of the UN climate talks in Doha this week.
The Nordic states have entered into an agreement to drive and establish a Nordic E-Science for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research infrastructure. Called LifeWatch, this European initiative emerged under the framework of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). LifeWatch seeks to provide improved access to biodiversity data in favour of environmental research. The majority of biodiversity data are held by research institutions, environmental management institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). By giving the public better access, scientific biodiversity and ecosystem research will get the boost it needs.
If current climate change trends continue, rising sea levels may inundate low-lying islands across the globe, placing island biodiversity at risk. A new U.S. Geological Survey scientific publication describes the first combined simulations of the effects of sea-level rise and wave action in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, offering the most detailed and multifaceted assessment available of how island biodiversity may be affected by climate change.
India, backed by vociferous developing countries, ultimately convinced the rich world to double the international funds for conserving biodiversity in the developing world by 2015. The decision was taken at the annual meeting of the UN Convention on Biodiversity, after hard-nosed negotiations with the European Union and some other countries drew the meeting into extra time, stretching over from Friday night to Saturday. Read More