Priority questions for biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean Basin
Beja, P., Ancilloto, L., Arianoutsou, M., Brotons, L., Clavero, M., Dimitrakopoulos, P., Filipe, A. F., Frankenberg, E., Martinoli, A., Olsvig-Whittaker, L., Russo, D., Thompson, J. and Moreira, F. (2018). Priority questions for biodiversity conservation in the Mediterranean Basin. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/107715
© the Authors, 2018
The Mediterranean Basin is considered one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, harbouring particularly high species richness and endemicity of taxonomic groups such as plants. This hotspot is unique at the global scale, because it has a history of intense anthropogenic influences that dates back to thousands of years, and where the current high-levels of biodiversity have thus been able to coexist with humans for millennia. Despite this long history of coexistence, biodiversity in the Mediterranean Basin is at risk due to a number of old and new anthropogenic stressors, including fast land use changes, overexploitation of natural resources, and global climate change. To tackle these problems, researchers should concentrate their efforts in answering questions that can have a true impact on the success of conservation programs, but there is at present considerable uncertainty on what these questions might be. To identify these questions, a group of scientists from Portugal, Spain, France, Greece, Italy and Israel have worked to identify priority questions that, if answered, would have a high probability of increasing the success of actions targeted at the conservation of Mediterranean biological diversity. This was part of a larger initiative covering the five Mediterranean regions of the world (Mediterranean Basin, California, Australia, Chile and South Africa), which was organised under the scope of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) – Europe Section and the International Society of Mediterranean Ecologists (ISOMED). Here we present the first results of this exercise, which is expected to be extended in the near future to other countries in the Mediterranean Basin. The study was based on enquiries targeted at individuals from a number of stakeholder types, including research institutions, environmental non-governmental organizations, environmental consultancy companies, organizations linked to land management (e.g., farmers, hunters), governmental agencies, and large business corporations. We obtained replies from 92 respondents, which suggested a total of 830 questions, divided in 11 major topics. After eliminating questions that were out of scope given the objectives of the study, the three topics most referred to by respondents were related to governance, species management, and farming and forestry, while other important topics were public participation and social sciences, climate change, and impact assessment. The results obtained highlight the importance of interdisciplinary research linking natural and social scientists, which is needed to understand how environmental and socioeconomic drivers interact to shape biodiversity patterns and trends, and to develop and optimise the models of governance and public engagement that are required to preserve biodiversity in the face of such drivers. ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
MetadataShow full item record
- ECCB 2018 
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