Earth Science News  





. Looming Tropical Disaster Needs Urgent Action

Associate Professor Bradshaw says recent technical debate about likely extinction rates in the tropics could be used by governments to justify destructive policies.
by Staff Writers
Adelaide, Australia (SPX) Jul 03, 2008
A major review by University of Adelaide (Australia) researchers shows that the world is losing the battle over tropical habitat loss with potentially disastrous implications for biodiversity and human well-being.

Published online in the Ecological Society of America's journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, the review concludes we are "on a trajectory towards disaster" and calls for an immediate global, multi-pronged conservation approach to avert the worst outcomes.

Lead author Associate Professor Corey Bradshaw, from the University of Adelaide's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, says tropical forests support more than 60% of all known species. But up to 15 million hectares of tropical rainforest are being lost every year and species are being lost at a rate of up to 10,000 times higher than would happen randomly without humans present.

"This is not just a tragedy for tropical biodiversity, this is a crisis that will directly affect human livelihoods," says Associate Professor Bradshaw. "This is not just about losing tiny species found at the base of big trees in a rain forest few people will ever see, this is about a complete change in ecosystem services that directly benefit human life.

"The majority of the world's population live in the tropics and what is at stake is the survival of species that pollinate most of the world's food crops, purify our water systems, attenuate severe flood risk, sequester carbon (taking carbon dioxide out of the air) and modify climate."

Associate Professor Bradshaw says recent technical debate about likely extinction rates in the tropics could be used by governments to justify destructive policies.

"We must not accept belief that all is well in the tropics, or that the situation will improve with economic development, nor use this as an excuse for inaction on the vexing conservation challenges of this century," he says.

"We need to start valuing forests for all the services they provide, and richer nations should be investing in the maintenance of tropical habitats."

One of the biggest issues is corruption. "The greatest long-term improvements can be made in governance of tropical diversity resources and good governance will only come from strong multi-lateral policy. We need international pressure to ensure appropriate monitoring and accounting systems are in place," says Associate Professor Bradshaw.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Tropic turmoil: a biodiversity tragedy in progress'
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Extinction risks vastly underestimated: study
Paris (AFP) July 2, 2008
Some endangered species may face an extinction risk that is up to a hundred times greater than previously thought, according to a study released Wednesday.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • Australia, Japan, US plan disaster relief exercises
  • AIDS epidemic is disaster like drought, floods for Africa: Red Cross
  • US helicopters lift aid to typhoon-ravaged Philippines
  • Bangladesh steps up earthquake response plans

  • State Of The Environment: A Nation In The Dark
  • Poor countries should set climate targets: Brazil leader
  • Oil shock helps put global warming on G8's back burner
  • New Report Available On Ecosystems And Climate Change

  • ESA Satellite Assesses Damage Of Norway's Largest Fire
  • Bird Watchers And Space Technology Come Together In New Study
  • Ocean Satellite Launch Critical To Australian science
  • GAO Report Reveals Continuing Problems With NPOESS

  • Norwegians fume as new 'climate tax' on fuel takes effect
  • Chinese oil major CNOOC blames supply concerns for price hike
  • Kenya greenlights sugar power project
  • Analysis: Government invests in clean tech

  • Anti-retroviral drug cocktails slash AIDS deaths: study
  • China seals off quake town over epidemic fears: report
  • Epidemics emerge as major threat in China's quake zone: report
  • Bird flu hits southern China: state press

  • Looming Tropical Disaster Needs Urgent Action
  • Extinction risks vastly underestimated: study
  • Passports For Penguins
  • Closing The Gap Between Fish And Land Animals

  • Italy's Berlusconi vows to clean up Naples by mid-July
  • Mayfly-Mimicking Sensor Could be High Tech Canary In The Coal Mine
  • Global waste meeting fails to break impasse: delegate
  • Database Shows Effects Of Acid Rain On Microorganisms In Adirondack Lakes

  • New Map IDs The Core Of The Human Brain
  • Growth hormone might increase life span
  • Scientists Identify New Role For Power Plants In Human Cells
  • Mechanism And Function Of Humor Identified By New Evolutionary Theory

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement