International Biodiversity Observation Year
A Year for Biodiversity
International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY) was launched in January 2001 from an initiative of DIVERSITAS: a platform for biodiversity scientists worldwide launched by a number of independent and united nations-affiliated scientific organizations in 1991.
The period of time 2001-2002 will be a time of scientific cooperation and public participation in assessing the past, present and future status of global biological diversity.
Globally, biodiversity is being lost at all levels: (1) genes, species and landscapes that provide goods such as food, fuels, fibers and medicines; (2) ecosystem services such as purification of air and water and renewal of soil fertility; and (3) natural environments that provide a foundation for art culture and recreation.
Biologists generally believe that these losses represent a threat to the wellbeing of human societies, but as of yet no sector of society is equipped with sufficient knowledge to evaluate this erosion of natural capital and its goods and services. Awareness of biodiversity and its many connections to our daily lives is limited across the globe, thereby undermining the ability of the public and policymakers to make decisions for sustainable development and conservation.
There are a wide range of projects planned and IBOY will bring together and showcase a range of initiatives dedicated to understanding and monitoring diversity in biological systems worldwide. The project has two major goals:
To reach these goals IBOY have three main components: biodiversity science, public education and voyages of discovery.
There are plans to establish badly needed protocols for communicating biological information, and integrating todays vast but largely disconnected array of biodiversity databases and efforts to provide a comprehensive and uniform index of all known species together with a linked catalogue of species databases for roughly 1.75 million described species of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms. A wide range of biological surveys and new or expanding ecological monitoring programs are to be included in IBOY and conducted for various organisms and environments. Of particular interest to the region is the examination of the diversity of coral reef organisms. Establishing or expanding communication networks and information clearing houses for tracking the status of different groups of organisms are also a part of the program, and there especially the uniting of monitoring programs for the tracking of migratory species. The projects are all focusing on two major areas: biological assessment and monitoring and the organization and integration of biological information.
For further information on DIVERSITAS-IBOY, contact:
Last updated: 06 April, 2001
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