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Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services

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Ecosystems deliver multiple ecosystem services (ESS), and their functional integrity is a determinant of human well-being. Research has shown that biodiversity has the potential to increase ecosystem functioning, as well as the stability and provision of ESS. The beneficial role of biodiversity for ESS stability and provision may be particularly important given present and future climate and land-use change. Unfortunately, threats to biodiversity have never been higher than they are today. Rates of extinction are continuing to increase despite Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) agreements to slow down the rate of loss. Hence, understanding sustainable paths for preserving biodiversity and ESS, their implications for human well-being, and their cost-efficient governance is critical.

We seek synthesis efforts that will enhance our understanding of one or more of the following:

  • How to reduce loss of biodiversity.
  • The relationship between biodiversity and the delivery and stability of ESS.
  • The induced societal benefits, costs, and tradeoffs inherent in the conservation of biodiversity and ESS.
  • Management or policy efforts that may enhance conservation by focusing on human behaviors and decision-making, governance structures, and other social drivers.

In particular, scholarship to advance progress in solving problems associated with biodiversity loss is critical. It is time to move beyond only identifying patterns of loss and instead ask how factors driving the losses can be better managed.

Information on projects funded under this Theme can be found here.