Common themes for ecologists in global issues.
The article argues that the scientific community needs to integrate the natural sciences with the socioeconomic sciences. The development challenge is described (to alleviate poverty and meet basic human needs); links between environmental issues e.g. climate change and land degradation, are identified; the underlying causes of biodiversity loss are listed; the value of biological resources and ecological services are considered; deforestation and global warming are assessed; the impact of climate change on human health, unmanaged ecosystems, agriculture, water resources, sea level and its social and economic costs are reviewed; and actions to protect the environment are encouraged. The challenge of getting politicians to take action on environmental issues given the spatial and time scales involved is noted and the role of the World Bank in bringing environmental issues to the fore are briefly presented.