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Event "Biodiversity loss - an inconvenient catastrophe"

by Dr M. Sharman, Research DG DI-4 Biodiversity and Ecosystems of the European Commission.

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Period 11/12/2006
Event location Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, RBINS, large auditorium Rue Vautier 29, 1000 Brussels
Host Belgian Biodversity Platform, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Contact person Hendrik Segers

In the past the kinds of environmental lessons we learned tended to be local - London smog, or dead zones in Lake Erie, for example. When Rachel Carson picked the metaphor of a silent spring to dramatise the consequences of unwise and widespread use of pesticides, she did not really consider the global dimension of the problem. Back then, we made mistakes, and when we noticed the consequences, we fixed them.

Today, however, problems related to biodiversity loss are quite obviously global in scale – and increasingly urgent. Furthermore, biodiversity loss and its consequences are likely to be irreversible. For this reason, we can no longer learn by doing as we could a generation ago.

We must act swiftly, effectively and wisely, while learning quickly how to make informed choices about our future. To do so we need research that empowers our species to choose a sustainable future.

Dr Martin Sharman is a scientific officer of the European Commission. He is working in the unit Research DG DI-4 Biodiversity and Ecosystems. He is actively involved in science policy related issues linked to biodiversity within the European context.

The seminar will take place at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Large Auditorium (first floor), on Monday 11 December 2006, starting at 11.

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