Nature and Human Society
The Quest for a Sustainable World
Proceedings of the 1997 Forum on Biodiversity
Board on Biology
National Research Council
National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for this report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported between the National Academy of Sciences and Monsanto Company; The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through grants 97-50855 and 97-48904; The Winslow Foundation; National Science Foundation through grant DEB-9729452; The David and Lucile Packard Foundation through grant 97-8124; Homeland Foundation through grant 3-97-085; Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation; V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation; The World Conservation Union; Trillium Corporation; The Jenifer Altman Foundation through grant 231. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
This material is not an official report of the Board on Biology or the National Research Council and the opinion reports are solely those of the individual forum participants. The papers presented in this volume are based upon presentations made at the October 27–30, 1997 meeting.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Forum on Biodiversity (1997 : National Academy of Sciences)
Nature and human society : the quest for a sustainable world :
proceedings of the 1997 Forum on Biodiversity / Board on Biology,
National Research Council.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-309-06555-0 (hardcover)
1. Biological diversity--Congresses. 2. NatureEffect of human
beings onCongresses. 3. Human ecologyCongresses. 4. Sustainable
developmentCongresses. I. National Research Council (U.S). Board on
Biology. II. Title.
QH541.15.B56 F685 1997
Cover: Art by Bert Dodson.
Nature and Human Society: The Quest for a Sustainable World is available from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Box 285, Washington, DC 20055; 1-800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area). Internet: www.nap.edu
Printed in the United States of America
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National Research Council
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FORUM ON BIODIVERSITY COMMITTEE
Peter H. Raven (Chair), Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO
Michael J. Bean, Wildlife Program, Environmental Defense Fund, Washington, DC
Colin W. Clark, Mathematics Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Rita R. Colwell, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, University of Maryland System, College Park, MD
Joel L. Cracraft, American Museum of Natural History, Department of Ornithology, New York, NY
Frank W. Davis, Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
Prosser Gifford, Director of Scholarly Programs, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Gary S. Hartshorn, Organization for Tropical Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC
Olga F. Linares, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Miami, FL
Thomas E. Lovejoy, Counselor for Biodiversity and Environmental Affairs, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Jane Lubchenco, Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Dan Martin, World Environment and Resources Program, John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL
Nalini Nadkarni, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
Michael H. Robinson, National Zoo, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Daniel Simberloff, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
David B. Wake, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, CA
Edward O. Wilson, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Joy B. Zedler, Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Stuart Pimm, Department of Zoology and Graduate Program in Ecology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Lynne Corn, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC
Victoria Dompka, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC
Don E. Wilson, Neotropical Biodiversity Program, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Paul Gilman, Project Co-Director
Donna M. Gerardi, Project Co-Director
Kathleen A. Beil, Administrative Assistant
Norman Grossblatt, Editor
Erika Shugart, Research Aide
Susan S. Vaupel, Editor
Tania Williams, Program Officer
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The 1986 National Forum on BioDiversity carried the urgent warning that the habitats and environments necessary to foster biodiversity were rapidly being altered. The Second National Forum on Biodiversity was held in Washington, DC, on October 27–30, 1997, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). It conveyed the positive message that we had learned and were making efforts to conserve biodiversitythat it does not have to be a win-lose situation. It highlighted a number of outstanding efforts to conserve biodiversity in ways that are amenable to all parties involved.
The second forum was envisaged to celebrate how much we had achieved since the 1986 forum. We hoped to target the general public as the audience, using dynamic means to catch their interest. It was to be a dialogue, using, for instance, a town meeting, live chat rooms on the Web, and a live-action camera in the Amazon rain forest canopy. The speeches would be peppered throughout to convey our progress and the direction we needed to head in. Although we could not secure the funds necessary to support such a venture, we believe that that format should be used for a third forum. It will be valuable to assemble top scientists to discuss where we are and where we should go. We were impressed and pleased by how easily we secured eminent speakers; many of them had to rearrange their schedules to speak but did so eagerly because of the importance of the topic.
We were confounded by the difficulty of presenting all the desired topics at the 3-day forum in such a way that there would be enough time to cover them fully
and to allow question and answer sessions with the audience. To fit more topics in, we held several brown-bag luncheon discussions each day; these discussions received favorable comments because they allowed adequate give and take in an intimate atmosphere. When we were putting this volume together, we took the opportunity to address some of the lesser-known groups of organisms that had not been well covered, such as protists, mites, and fungi. We also held a number of events to increase outreach to the public and Congress: several speakers were sent to Capitol Hill to brief congressional members and staff, others participated in radio news events, and all participated in a lunch with the press.
The body of the program, including lectures and brown-bag sessions, was held at NAS. An opening evening lecture was held at the Baird Auditorium of the National Museum of Natural History. The Library of Congress hosted a special dinner and exhibit for the speakers. And the premier screening of the National Geographic film, Don't Say Goodbye, and an accompanying exhibit of the photographic work of Susan Middleton and David Liittschwager were held at AAAS. Over 750 people registered for the 3-day forum, and all the events were well attended.
Numerous people were involved in organizing the forum. The National Research Council empaneled a committee to serve as science advisers. That panel enlisted the help of David Wilcove, George Woodwell, and Walt Reid to finalize the program. Staff of the convening organizations did the brunt of the planning: Tania Williams of the National Research Council directed the staff efforts with the invaluable assistance of Donna Gerardi, Erika Shugart, and Kathleen Beil, also of the National Research Council; Prosser Gifford of the Library of Congress; Lynne Corn of the Congressional Research Service; Don Wilson of the Smithsonian Institution; and Dick Gertzinger, Victoria Dompka, and Lars Bromley of AAAS. Ruth O'Brien of the National Research Council organized the complicated arrangements that led to a smoothly conducted meeting; she was assisted by Stacey Burkhardt of the National Research Council. Authors were sent completed and edited manuscripts in late 1998 so that they could update the references. Hence in this volume, there are many references to work published after the forum was held.
We wish to thank the Mansanto Company, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Winslow Foundation, National Science Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Homeland Foundation, Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation, V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation, The World Conservation Union, Trillium Corporation, and The Jenifer Altman Foundation for their support of this effort.
Tania Williams served as managing editor for this volume, Norman Grossblatt was senior manuscript editor, and Karen Phillips edited several of the manuscripts.
The beautiful art created for the forum, which serves as the cover of this volume, was the work of Bert Dodson.
PETER H. RAVEN