In This Issue
- Smithsonian Botanical Symposium to Address the Convention on Biological Diversity
- Protecting Biodiversity-Rich Forests from Industrial Logging
- Pacific Conference Focuses on Mainstreaming Nature Conservation
- Future Meetings
- Current Literature
At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders agreed on a comprehensive strategy for the conservation, sustainable development, and equitable sharing of the benefits of biodiversity. This strategy was transformed into the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that has now been signed and/or ratified by over 175 nations. The Convention was an affirmation that the worlds biodiversity is a common concern of humankind and it has radically changed how we think about and manage the Earths biological resources. The responsibilities, priorities, and practices of taxonomists and natural historians for discovering and describing biodiversity have been significantly altered since the Earth Summit. The 2002 Smithsonian Botanical Symposium, entitled "The Convention on Biological Diversity: The Globalization of Natural History Science," will address the impact of the CDB on scientists and its ramifications for understanding the natural world.
This Symposium, to be held 5-6 April of 2002, at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., follows the highly successful first Smithsonian Botanical Symposium hosted by the Department of Botany in 2001. The previous conference entitled "Linnaean Taxonomy in the 21st Century" addressed the fundamental question of how we name plants and animals in light of recent advances in understanding the evolutionary relationships of organisms. Invited speakers and participants engaged in discussion and debate to determine if we should change the Linnaean system to meet todays needs in taxonomy and classification.
The second José Cuatrecasas Medal in Tropical Botany will also be awarded at the Smithsonian Botanical Symposium. This prestigious award is presented annually to an international scholar who has contributed significantly to advancing the field of tropical botany. The award is named in honor of Dr. José Cuatrecasas, a pioneering botanist who spent many years working in the Department of Botany at the Smithsonian and devoted his career to plant exploration in tropical South America.
The Symposium will include a day of invited speakers followed by a keynote address, and is being sponsored by the National Museum of Natural History, the Cuatrecasas Family Foundation, and the United States Botanic Garden.
For more information contact Dr. W. John Kress, Head of Botany, Department of Systematic Biology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560-0166; Tel: 202-357-2534; E-mail: email@example.com; or visit <http://persoon.si.edu/sbs/>.
Industrial logging threatens many of the world's most biologically rich forests. A concerted effort to halt or prevent logging in forests with the greatest value for conserving biodiversity is urgently needed. In support of this effort, The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and the Smithsonian's Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) are pleased to announce the release of a new report, "Logging Off: Mechanisms to Stop or Prevent Industrial Logging in Forests of High Conservation Value."
Authored by Ted Gullison, Mary Melnyk, and Carmen Wong, the report provides the broad assessment of the potential tools available to reduce or eliminate industrial logging in high conservation value forests. The authors review a series of case studies of different approaches that have already been applied in tropical and temperate forests and identify 15 different mechanisms through which logging could be stopped or prevented. These range from purchasing timber concessions for protection and cracking down on illegal logging to international timber boycotts and import bans. Several mechanisms have been successfully implemented, and some, such as conservation easements, have been applied in a number of countries for decades.
The report concludes with recommendations for actions that policymakers, non-governmental organizations, donor agencies, and industry can take to apply these mechanisms more broadly and effectively.
The full text of this report is available as a pdf download on the UCS website at <http://www.ucsusa.org/environment/logging.html> or may be obtained from UCS Publications, 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge, MA 02238-9105 USA; Tel: 617-547-5552; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mainstreaming nature conservation is the theme of the much-anticipated Seventh Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas to be held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from 8-12 July 2002. The four-yearly conference is the pre-eminent event in the region on nature conservation. Nature conservation is essential to the achievement of sustainable development in the region but is still perceived as peripheral to economic development planning and decision-making, hence the mainstreaming theme.
With about 250 participants expected, the Conference celebrates the significant strides made in nature conservation in the Pacific islands over the last five years. Its objectives are to review progress in the implementation of the regions Action Strategy for Nature Conservation and to define priorities and the regions nature conservation agenda for the next four years.
This conference is important because the Pacific Islands Region has more rare, endangered and threatened species per capita than anywhere else on earth. The Pacific's marine environment is an enormous and largely unexplored resource with the most extensive and diverse reef system in the world, the largest tuna fishery, deepest oceanic trenches and the healthiest remaining populations of many globally threatened species including whales, sea turtles, dugongs and saltwater crocodiles. There are large blocks of intact rainforests and many unique species and communities of plants found nowhere else in the world. Estimates suggest that 50 percent of the regions total biodiversity is at risk.
The focus for the agenda is to reflect, explore and share ideas on what mainstreaming means in practice and how to enable it to happen. It also gives delegates the opportunity to have input into the Action Strategy for Nature Conservation in the Pacific Islands Region.
Jointly organized by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme and the Cook Islands Environment Service and Ministry of Culture, the conference promises a truly Pacific experience. A steering committee, consisting of members of the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation is providing strategic direction for the conference. A conference website has been developed and is located at http://www.pacificbiodiv.org/conference.
For more information please contact Kate Brown, Conference Coordinator, South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Box 240, Apia, Samoa; Tel: 685 21929; Fax: 685 20231; Email: email@example.com.
The 2nd National Conference on Science, Policy and Environment, co-sponsored by the National Council for Science and the Environment and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, will be held 6-7 December 2001 in Washington, D.C. The conference will seek to develop recommendations for the World Summit for Sustainable Development in September 2002. For more information contact David Blockstein, (202) 530-5810 x205, firstname.lastname@example.org or Rob Viehl, (202) 530-5810, email@example.com, or visit http://www.cnie.org/NCSEconference/2001conference.cfm.
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Jensen-Seaman, M.I., and Kidd, K.K. 2001. Mitochondrial DNA variation and biogeography of eastern gorillas. Mol. Ecol. 10(9):2241-2247.
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Lindenmayer, D.B., and McCarthy, M.A. 2001. The spatial distribution of non-native plant invaders in a pine-eucalypt landscape mosaic in south-eastern Australia. Biol. Conserv. 102(1):77-87.
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Milam, J.C., and Melvin, S.M. 2001. Density, habitat use, movements, and conservation of spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata) in Massachusetts. J. Herpetol. 35(3):418-427.
Mills, C.E. 2001. Jellyfish blooms: are populations increasing globally in response to changing ocean conditions? Hydrobiologia 451(1-3):55-68.
Milton, D.A. 2001. Assessing the susceptibility to fishing of populations of rare trawl bycatch: sea snakes caught by Australia's Northern Prawn Fishery. Biol. Conserv. 101(3):281-290.
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Montoya-Ospina, R.A., Caicedo-Herrera, D., Millán-Sánchez, S.L., Mignucci-Giannoni, A.A., and Lefebvre, L.W. 2001. Status and distribution of the West Indian manatee, Trichechus manatus manatus, in Colombia. Biol. Conserv. 102(1):117-129.
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Morrison, M.L. 2001. Introduction: concepts of wildlife and wildlife habitat for ecological restoration. Restor. Ecol. 9(3):251-252.
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Nadkarni, N.M. 2001. Enhancement of forest canopy research, education, and conservation in the new millennium. Plant Ecol. 153(1-2):361-367.
Nash, S. 2001. New tools, moon tigers, and the extinction crisis. BioScience 51(9):702-707.
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