Humans are part of the broader biosphere, comprised by the flora and fauna on the planet. The biosphere is as diverse as it is interconnected, with each species fulfilling a specific role in their own ecosystem. Through our zealous search for resources and our ardent territorial expansion we have destroyed many ecosystems and have started the next Mass Extinction. These are periods in the planet’s history when an abnormally large number of species go extinct – the difference with this one is that it is the first one driven by humans. Biodiversity is critical for sustainable development because it provides resilience to diseases, protecting our forests, crops, and cattle. Furthermore, ecosystems provide a wide variety of services that are critical for the stability of the biosphere, even if they are hard for us to monetize.
In this page you will find articles that discuss the importance of these ecosystem services, including topics on biodiversity and conservation.

Conservation Crossroads in Ecuador: Tiputini Biodiversity Station and the Yasuní oil fields

Written by Justine Atkins On an early morning boat, mist still rises off the water and the Amazonian air is thick with the characteristic dampness of tropical rainforests. We’re heading out in search of a nearby clay-lick where many parrot species congregate. In the partial slumber of any graduate student awake before 6 am, we…

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Rethinking Our Approach to Protected Areas for Conservation

Written by Justine Atkins Over the last fifty years, there has been progressively more widespread recognition that species’ biodiversity is rapidly declining. This is a huge problem, and not only ethically: biodiversity also has crucial economic returns such as ecotourism and promoting ecosystem resilience to climate change and invasive species. It is now well-established that…

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