Biodiversity | Wilson Center


And on the Last Day, Plant a Tree: Photography Exhibition by Prince Hussain Aga Khan

The photography exhibition introduced visitors to the activities of the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment, the environmental program of the Aga Khan Development Network. Prince Hussain Aga Khan's photographs bring vibrant, lively images of nature and animals, drawing focus to the subject rather than the picture's angle or style. His photographs portray the urgent need for environmental stewardship, challenging viewers to pursue global initiatives on biodiversity, deforestation, global warming, pollution and eco-tourism.

Population, Health, and Urbanization

Public Health and Environment

Agriculture, Water, and Food Security

There is a close relationship between acute water scarcity and acute poverty, said Madar Samad, and this scarcity will only increase by 2050. A major part of adapting to climate change will be addressing water and temperature changes and their affects on crop production. An important low hanging fruit is to increase efficiency in current crop production techniques, including storage and drying. This is one area where no kind of quantum leap is required, said Reiner Wassmann, but there are a number of individual steps that could come to sizable improvement.

Book Launch: Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity

"There's such a fundamental misunderstanding that most people have about the environment—that it exists outside of us," said Harvard Medical School's Eric Chivian at the January 14, 2009, launch of Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, which he co-edited.

Field Trips: Population-Health-Environment Projects in Kenya, DRC, and Madagascar

People in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) cut down trees "not because they want to destroy the forest, but because there is a lack of energy" and jobs, and they need the wood to make charcoal to use for themselves and to sell for income, explained Dario Merlo of the Jane Goodall Institute's Community-Centered Conservation program in the DRC (DRC-CCC).

Fertile Fringes: Population Growth at Protected-Area Edges

"Protected areas are the backbone of biodiversity conservation strategies," so it is critical to examine how population growth is affecting them, said Justin Brashares of the University of California, Berkeley, at "Fertile Fringes: Population Growth at Protected-Area Edges," an October 22, 2008, meeting sponsored by the Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP).

Population, Health, and Environment: Value Added From an Integrated Development Strategy (Location: Barcelona)

"Come out of your zones…break down walls, break down silos," urged International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Director-General Julia Marton-Lefevre at the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona this October. One of the three "streams" of the conference, "Healthy Environments, Healthy People," sought to knock down the traditional barrier between health and conservation organizations.

Governance of Marine Ecosystem-Based Management: A Comparative Analysis

"Frequently, we forget that environmental management is all about institutions and governance, and the decisions and trade-offs that we make," said the University of Washington's Patrick Christie at "Governance of Marine Ecosystem-Based Management: A Comparative Analysis," a September 29, 2008, event sponsored by the Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP). "And of course they need to be informed by ecological principles as well.

Washington, DC Launch of Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment

Recently released to wide acclaim, Africa: Atlas of Our Changing Environment "is not just an illustration of environmental change in the negative sense. It has, in these pages, many examples of how a deliberate policy choice by government leaders, by communities, or by them working together, allowed for a very different outcome," said Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Human, Animal, and Ecosystem Health

Human, livestock, wildlife, and environmental health are integrally related, and development practitioners and policymakers should "take advantage of these relationships to achieve conservation and development goals," asserted Steve Osofsky, a senior policy advisor at the Wildlife Conservation Society, at "Human, Animal, and Ecosystem Health," an event co-sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program and Africa Program on May 21, 2008.