More interesting UNESCO stuff

Biodiversity: a friend for life (in the UNESCO Courier May 2000)

It includes an article on Science teaching… and a special on biodiversity, introduced in the following words:

“Since the time of A r i s t o t l e, we have been trying to inventory the world’s plant and animal species.Yet in the year 2000, this colossal task is nowhere near being achieved. It probably never will be, despite the efforts of taxonomists and scientists prospecting for this “green gold” ( p p. 1 8 – 1 9 ) . N a t u r e ’s riches are beyond measure and its mechanisms all the more difficult to grasp insofar as biodiversity is a broad concept, encompassing genes, species and ecosystems (pp. 2 0 – 2 1 ) .But scientists are clear about one fact: the unprecedented environmental damage caused by human activity is putting a record number of species at risk of extinction (pp. 2 2 – 2 3 ) .

And yet, biodiversity is the very essence of life (pp. 17, 24 – 25). Ecosystems provide a host of environmental services (pp.26-27) that make our planet habit a b l e. Genetic diversity is key to assuring the world’s food supply and provides a formidable gene pool for biotechnology, especially agriculture (pp. 27 – 29) and medicine (pp. 3 0 – 3 1 ) . It also offers a boon for eco-tourism (pp. 31 – 32). Yet it would be a grave mistake to think we can preserve biodiversity by trying to isolate it. People are an integral part of this dynamic system. Sustainable conservation demands support for a global network of nature reserves involving local people closely in their management (pp. 3 3 – 3 4 ) . Seed and gene banks, l i ke that of Kew Gardens in London (pp. 3 5 – 3 6 ) , are also gaining ground.B u t managing the planet’s “green gold” is also sparking legal and ethical battles beyond what anyone could have imagined in 1992,when the international community adopted the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity” (p.17)

Another one that looks interesting is: Chemistry and Life



About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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