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The most unique feature of Earth is the existence of life, and the most extraordinary feature of life is its diversity. Approximately 9 million types of plants, animals, protists and fungi inhabit the Earth. So, too, do 7 billion people. Two decades ago, at the first Earth Summit, the vast majority of the world's nations declared that human actions were(More)
After a long incubation period, the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is now underway. Underpinning all its activities is the IPBES Conceptual Framework (CF), a simplified model of the interactions between nature and people. Drawing on the legacy of previous large-scale environmental assessments, the CF goes further(More)
Evolutionary biologists have long endeavored to document how many species exist on Earth, to understand the processes by which biodiversity waxes and wanes, to document and interpret spatial patterns of biodiversity, and to infer evolutionary relationships. Despite the great potential of this knowledge to improve biodiversity science, conservation, and(More)
Recently, some members of the conservation community have used ecosystem services as a strategy to conserve biodiversity. Others in the community have criticized this strategy as a distraction from the mission of biodiversity conservation. The debate continues, and it remains unclear whether the concerns expressed are significant enough to merit the(More)
DIVERSITAS, the international programme on biodiversity science, is releasing a strategic vision presenting scientific challenges for the next decade of research on biodiversity and ecosystem services: "Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Science for a Sustainable Planet". This new vision is a response of the biodiversity and ecosystem services scientific(More)
15 The Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) was established in 2001 by four global environmental change (GEC) research programmes: DIVERSITAS, IGBP, IHDP and WCRP. ESSP facilitates the study of the Earth's environment as an integrated system in order to understand how and why it is changing, and to explore the implications of these changes for global and(More)
Efforts to develop a global understanding of the functioning of the Earth as a system began in the mid-1980s. This effort necessitated linking knowledge from both the physical and biological realms. A motivation for this development was the growing impact of humans on the Earth system and need to provide solutions, but the study of the social drivers and(More)