Is Biodiversity really under pressure? A meeting at the Linnean Society

On 11th February the meeting “Is Biodiversity really under pressure?” was held at the Linnean Society. This was a joint meeting between the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) and the Linnean Society of London, organised by Dr Peter Bridgewater FLS (JNCC) and Dr Sandy Knapp FLS.

The meeting included speeches by guest speakers on five categories of pressure that were identified in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: Habitat Loss, Pollution, Climate Change, Non- Native Species and Over Exploitation.

Following the speeches, the audience were asked to vote on the issues that had been raised which they considered the most important. The top results of this poll were as follows:

1. It is important to expand measures of wealth to incorporate natural capital
2. We should ‘disobey God’ by limiting reproduction in order to tackle overpopulation.
3. It is important to determine the impacts on ecosystem functioning and services and not just single species.

The meeting concluded with an address by Professor Bob Watson from Defra, who emphasised the consideration of multiple drivers of biodiversity loss, the importance of an ecosystem-based approach and the valuation of natural capital, among other issues.