Leveling the Global Playing Field: Global Inferences from Reliable Global Samples

Sunday, February 19, 2012: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 208-209 (VCC West Building)
Human activities are major factors in shaping biodiversity on Earth. Terrestrial impacts can be clearly seen from space, evidenced by the large swaths of rainforest cleared for agriculture. Few would contest the damage we have caused to landscapes. However, in the ocean, impacts are harder to measure. The fact that we have an analogous effect on seascapes is contested, despite evidence from seminal studies on the massive impacts to habitats and the species embedded therein. These studies are often contested, in a manner reminiscent to the global warming debate, using case studies reportedly documenting positive trends for the phenomenon in question. However, case studies, usually from a few developed countries, cannot be treated as representative of global phenomena and thus cannot form the basis for networks of information on particular resources. This is a critical consideration, for with the push to assess the sustainability of global resources, there has been a movement by research agencies to invest in integrated information management infrastructure whereby the interconnectivity of ecosystem management is acknowledged. Nonetheless, information assembled in such a system can be used for global inferences only if the underlying data are collected in a robust way (i.e., by monitoring or census). Speakers will discuss links between ecosystem-based management, information infrastructures, and the robust global monitoring that must form the foundation of any global inference.
Kristin Kleisner, University of British Columbia
Daniel Pauly, University of British Columbia
Rainer Froese, IFM-GEOMAR
Thomas Lovejoy, The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment
Monitoring Global Extinction Within an Information Infrastructure
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