Ingredients of a new deal on protecting global biodiversity are likely to be decided this week at a London meeting.UNESCO is celebrating 2010, the United Nations Year of Biodiversity, and has an important program on People, Biodiversity and Ecology. Notable within this program is the world network of 553 bioreserves which has developed under UNESCO encouragement. The network provides a global mechanism for research and the development of the understanding needed to preserve biodiversity.
About 55 nations are sending delegates to the meeting, which will be chaired by UK and Brazilian ministers.
A key aim is to agree what sort of targets should be set at October's UN biodiversity summit for curbing the loss of species and ecosystems.
Editorial Comment: Unfortunately, the Bush administration withdrew U.S. support for the the participation of American scientists and U.S. bioreserves in the global network. The U.S. National Commission has recommended that the participation be restarted, and that remains a challenge for the new team appointed by the Obama administration. 2010, the Year of Biodiversity, would seem to require action on this recommendation.
(The opinions expressed above are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of Americans for UNESCO.)