Main content area

Opiniones de Científicos sobre el Estado Global y Manejo de la Diversidad Biológica

Conservation biology 2011 v.25 no.6 pp. 1165-1175
Internet, attitudes and opinions, biodiversity, climate change, corals, cultural values, ecosystem services, ecosystems, humans, multicultural diversity, scientists, surveys, South East Asia, Western European region
The large investments needed if loss of biological diversity is to be stemmed will likely lead to increased public and political scrutiny of conservation strategies and the science underlying them. It is therefore crucial to understand the degree of consensus or divergence among scientists on core scientific perceptions and strategies most likely to achieve given objectives. I developed an internet survey designed to elucidate the opinions of conservation scientists. Conservation scientists (n =583) were unanimous (99.5%) in their view that a serious loss of biological diversity is likely, very likely, or virtually certain. Scientists’ agreement that serious loss is very likely or virtually certain ranged from 72.8% for Western Europe to 90.9% for Southeast Asia. Tropical coral ecosystems were perceived as the most seriously affected by loss of biological diversity; 88.0% of respondents familiar with that ecosystem type agreed that a serious loss is very likely or virtually certain. With regard to conservation strategies, scientists most often viewed understanding how people and nature interact in certain contexts and the role of biological diversity in maintaining ecosystem function as their priorities. Protection of biological diversity for its cultural and spiritual values and because of its usefulness to humans were low priorities, which suggests that many scientists do not fully support the utilitarian concept of ecosystem services. Many scientists expressed a willingness to consider conservation triage, engage in active conservation interventions, and consider reframing conservation goals and measures of success for conservation of biological diversity in an era of climate change. Although some heterogeneity of opinion is evident, results of the survey show a clear consensus within the scientific community on core issues of the extent and geographic scope of loss of biological diversity and on elements that may contribute to successful conservation strategies in the future.