Biodiversity a new strategy
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Biodiversity: A New Strategy. David Blockstein, Ph.D., Senior Scientist National Council for Science and the Environment Executive Secretary Council of Environmental Deans and Directors Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders

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Biodiversity: A New Strategy

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Biodiversity: A New Strategy

David Blockstein, Ph.D., Senior Scientist

National Council for Science and the Environment

Executive Secretary

Council of Environmental Deans and Directors

Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders

  • Mission:to improve the scientific basis of environmental decisionmaking.

  • Vision:a society where environmental decisions are based on an accurate understanding of the science, its meaning and limitations, and the potential consequences of their action or inaction.

  • Focus:programs that bring together diverse institutions, communities and individuals to collaborate.

Five Strategic Areas:

  • Education and Careers – People

    • 160 University Affiliates

    • CEDD and CEREL

    • EnvironMentors

  • Science Solutions - Problems

  • Science Policy – Policies

  • Earth Portal – Public (

  • National Conference - Pathways

National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment

  • “the Davos of the Environment”

  • 2-3 days, 800-1,200 participants

  • Multi-sector: research, education, business, civil society, government

  • Learn, network, and develop strategies to combine science and policy to yield real-world solutions

  • A launch pad for new initiatives and partnerships

1st - Improving the Scientific Basis for Decisionmaking

2nd - Sustainable Communities: Science and Solutions

3rd - Education for a Sustainable and Secure Future

4th - Water for a Sustainable and Secure Future

5th - Forecasting Environmental Changes

6th - Energy for a Sustainable and Secure Future

7th - Integrating Environment and Human Health

8th - Climate Change: Science and Solutions

9th - Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing World

Conference Themes:

9th National Conference on Science, Policy and the Environment:

  • Examine biodiversity in context of rapid human-driven changes.

  • Goals

    • New partnerships, new initiatives, new strategies

    • Science and policy combined for real world solutions

Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing WorldDecember 8-10, 2008Washington, DC

Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing World

  • 1,082 participants

  • Speakers: Cristian Samper, Craig Venter, Tom Friedman

  • Lifetime achievement awards: E.O. Wilson, Peter Raven, George Rabb

  • 12 Symposia & 32 Breakout Sessions, 13 Workshops

  • Meeting with Obama Transition Team on December 11

Biodiversity in a Rapidly Changing WorldRecommendations Summary


  • Biodiversity and Economy

    • The US must recognize that many social, environmental, economic, and security problems are linked to biodiversity.

    • Engage the private sector in restoring/conserving/sustaining biodiversity in partnerships Biodiversity and Beyond.


  • National Policy

    • Executive Order directing agencies to conserve biological diversity, with particular emphasis on public lands and water and incentives for private land conservation

    • Each agency should review its authorities, regulations, initiatives, waivers, spending, and related international agreements and report to the President, CEQ, and domestic advisory bodies on things that need to be changed to better conserve biodiversity.


  • Biodiversity and Global Change

    • Recognize the interconnections between global climate disruption and biodiversity loss

    • US Biodiversity Adaptation Strategy with new USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center.


  • International Biodiversity

    • US policies should promote the linkages between biodiversity, economic development and sustainable livelihoods recognizing.

    • The US should re-engage in existing international environmental endeavors including requesting that the Senate ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity.


  • Second Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

  • Integrated assessments of biodiversity, ecosystem services and environmental condition within the US on a variety of regional and national scales.

  • Scientific results, methods, data, etc. should be translated into usable information for information managers, field managers, local policymakers, and the public.

  • Coupled human-natural systems, including links between population dynamics and biodiversity.

Education and Communication

  • Public campaign to educate on how biodiversity affects humans, and how it is linked to other social, environmental, and economic issues.

  • Biological science standards for K-12 education

  • No Child Left Inside Act

Alliance for Life on Earth (ALOE)

Why is an Alliance needed?

  • Urgency

  • Scaling up

  • Community

  • Coordination

  • Saliency

  • Synergy

  • Timeliness

Purpose and Functions

Act as a catalyst, convener, and clearinghouse

  • 1. Shape a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

  • 2. Build collaborative relationships to promote biodiversity and ecosystem conservation internationally.

  • 3. Build and coalesce leadership capacity at home and abroad.

  • 4. Build professional teams and cross-sector partnerships to address core challenges.

Purpose and Functions

Act as a catalyst, convener, and clearinghouse

  • 5. Develop a vigorous public communications campaign and an education strategy to:

    • improve ecological literacy among the American public;

    • build the next generation of biodiversity and ecological scientists, strategists, and problem solvers;

    • motivate and engage public action on biodiversity protection;

    • build social networks and information systems to accomplish these goals.

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