Biodiversity Conference Summary 2008

Bio diversity

The meeting is being held in the context that there is now enough evidence to be confident that global warming is a real and present threat.

The aim of this meeting is to guide the delivery of a strategy that will halt biodiversity loss and impact on reducing global warming.

Those attending this meeting probably have a good level of awareness and a desire to take preventative action or at least find out more. The greater problem is the vast pool of people who do not see global warming and or the threats posed by reduced biodiversity.

The Problem

Halting loss and preventing climate change.

How is Climate change and habitat loss linked?

( It is our consuming and economic behaviour that is contributing to global warming and to the reduction of biodiversity)

The environment will be better able to withstand the impacts of Global warming by having strong bio diverse ecosystems.

Global warming and biodiversity loss are two linked problems. Two sides of the same coin.

There are different perspectives on global warming.

Basically human activity is leading to increased greenhouse gasses as a consequence of individual and industrial activity

 which results in a temperature rise.   

There is a threat to biodiversity from Global warming. In addition undermining the Biodiversity structures of the planet will increase the vulnerability to global warming threats.

A key challenge is to set up procedures and systems to measure and analyse the impacts scientifically.

Then the science needs to be communicated to ensure that knowledge and understanding is put into action.

 There is plenty of strong evidence to indicate that the effects of Global warming are affecting bird migrations and the timing if the seasons.

There is real need to understand the relationship between biodiversity and people.

What behaviours create the problems of Global warming and reduced biodiversity?

Our children’s future is at stake and this generation has a duty of care to pass on the value available from the  Earth’s Natural Living Assets.

Short tremism is counter productive.

Can we afford to wait any longer to take action in light of the current and mounting evidence for climate change and biodiversity destruction.

Doing nothing now whilst we wait for more research and information is not an option.

Whilst there is a need for more information it is also essential to start acting now.

It may be question of being selective and asking “what creatures can we save” and thus we will influence the future.

In the meantime action must be taken to slow climate change that is a consequence of man’s insatiable appetite for growth.

The Bio diversity group has been set up to act proactively to influence government. ( no mention of influencing industry)

Some Facts

The Oceans’ currents collide to produce climatic conditions such as our climate. (Gulf stream)

It is known that carbon Dioxide emissions have increased from 280 – 381 ppm in the atmosphere.

This data comes for ice cores

It is important to consider the consequences of mans changes on ecosystems in terms of equity, social and economic terms.

For a biodiversity and global warming reversal strategy to be successful it is critical to increase communication and get institutions linked together.

There are still sceptics re Global warming.

There are probably many more who fail to link their behaviour with global warming and the consequences and how biodiversity has a key role to play in holding ecological systems together. ( Need for planet doctors as opposed to human health doctors)

Currently the bio diversity strategy links habitats via corridors. These strategies are generally modelled around individual specie, landscapes and habitats.

Need to acquire more

Co operation

More Data

More knowledge sharing

More analysis of the impacts of climate change

And the significance of impacts from a human behaviour aspect.

Global warming is recognised as a key threat but our behaviour individually and collectively is key.

How are decisions going to be made. Decision making criteria!

What sort of world do we want to live in.

Context for decision making.

Integrating thinking and policy

Co ordination



Monitoring of key indicator species

Energy policy

Guidelines and a communication strategy.

Need for scientific communities to get away from ivory towers and communicate with the public ( inc businesses and politicians)



Getting data

Knowledge acquisition

Political will in light of credit crunch

Need to get people engaged with issue

Balance need for further research( can there  ever be enough) fro action  now

Benchmarking against other countries

Need for local buy in

Socio economic evaluation

Conserving the natural environment.

Sustainable development.

What will drive the support mechanisms for development on biodiversity

Global warming / climate change as a threat, biodiversity threats, and community support for use of resources for the greater good and for future generations.

Impact of credit crunch ( is it an opportunity in disguise?)

Further Issues in NI

Agriculture and biodiversity


Common Agricultural Policy

Agri-  environmental measures    

 Post war focus on producing food and lots of it

 Eco systems provide for human well being and deliver benefits that are cultural and economic beyond the environments and habitats themselves.

Bio diversity can be thought of as an eco system service providing human well being and socio economic gain.

It is our personal and collective behaviour/ economic decision making that leads to pollution and overexploitation.

Invasive species are a threat and may be given an opportunity to get a foothold because of Bio diversity reduction and or Global warming. Strong ecological habitats will reduce the negative consequences of Global warming.

Key question that need answered include

How will we use our eco systems?

Need to work on eco systems and biodiversity as a driver for change as a link to Climate change strategy.

( what appeals more to the public? Engagement on the big issues i.e. Global warming of engagement on Bio diversity.

Perhaps there are too many to far removed and have other immediate priorities.

If we fail to act there is now evidence that there will be socio economic consequences. Need to act but also continue to build up data information and knowledge.

Need to get beyond silo protective thinking.


Renewable energy targets are key. 8.5 % today rising to 20 % by 2020

Bi fuels may have a role but as far from a panacea, and need to managed carefully to ensure they don’t do more environmental damage than eliminate.

( cf QUALYS)

ACE schemes for unemployed people to assist with government support to deliver

Community projects that add value. Need for further  education in biodiversity and train people to acquire new skills and knowledge.

Mitigations from Peat/bog burst that pollute water courses when a wind farm is created.

Need for spatial Strategic planning

Consumer awareness, local , and globally, need to be aware of the wider impacts of our actions and decisions on rainforest and far away impacts as well as those closer to home.

Healthy eco systems are greatest asset in the spectre of climate change. Any local bio diversity and habitat disastrous would be reduced in the ecology is healthy and bio diversity abounds.

It is lack of bio diversity and general poor environmental management that leads to environmental disastrous with the subsequent socio economic disasters.

Natura 2000 systems of managing sensitive sites will remain a key priority for a way forward.

Urbanisation and development of sustainable cities will be important

Need to have and accommodate space for nature

Ecosystems will change and evolve

We may have to manage certain extinctions and migrations

Ned for a strengthened science base

Need for enhanced communication from scientific, institutionalised communities to win public support and generate action.

Look for synergies

Why re invent the wheel

Focus of bio diversity

Focus on linking to global warming

Link to behaviour

Absolute need for ecosystems services

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