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News archive 2009

2009-12-21“Mountains and Climate Change – From Understanding to Action”

GMBA participated in the publication on “Mountains and Climate Change – From Understanding to Action”, which was officially launched during COP15, produced by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern.

You can download a pdf: http://www.cde.unibe.ch/

or order it (free of charge) at: Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) University of Bern CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland

online order: http://www.cde.unibe.ch/

2009-12-21New GMBA book: Data mining for global trends in Mountain Biodiversity

Thanks to advances in electronic archiving of biodiversity data and the digitization of climate and other geophysical data, a new era in biogeography, functional ecology, and evolutionary ecology has begun. In Data Mining for Global Trends in Mountain Biodiversity, Christian Körner, Eva M. Spehn, and a team of experts from the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment of DIVERSITAS explore two of the hottest subjects in science and technology: biodiversity and data mining. They demonstrate how to harness the scientific power of biological databases for furthering ecological and evolutionary theory.

Electronic databases can open new pathways for testing evolutionary and ecological theory across the world’s mountain ranges. The new GMBA book examines global trends in mountain biodiversity using electronic biodiversity databases. GMBA experts provide examples of successful mining of geo-referenced data, methodological approaches, and comparisons of mountain regions on a continental scale.

Here you can order the book

2009-09-21International GMBA-DIVERSITAS conference "Functional significance of mountain biodiversity"

In Chandolin (Valais), Switzerland, 27-30th July 2010

The Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment of DIVERSITAS is celebrating its 10th year of activity in 2010 with an international conference in the Swiss Alps, on the overarching theme of functional significance of mountain biodiversity. We will meet in the center of the Swiss Alps at the peak of the flowering season at a very scenic historic village.

More information http://gmba.unibas.ch/2010conference/2010conference.htm

2009-09-21GMBA Symposium "Mining biodiversity databases: examples for mountain biota and conservation planning"

At the DIVERSITAS OSC2 Biodiversity and Society, 13-16 October 2009, Cape Town. Symposium 13, 15 Oct 10:30-12:30

Organisers: Christian Körner (Switzerland) and Carlos Joly (Brazil)

GMBA talks:

Mary Kalin Arroyo (Chile): Using georeferenced plant specimen data for detecting macroecological patterns in the South American Andes: searching for a relationship between latitudinal and altitudinal ranges

Falk Huettmann (USA): Towards a digital culture for the world’s mountains, polar regions and beyond: supporting adaptive management for a global sustainability

Christophe Randin (Switzerland): Using georeferenced databases to assess the effect of climate change on alpine plant species and diversity

More: http://www.diversitas-osc.org/docs/pdf_symposia/Korner-Joly.pdf

2009-09-21Biodiversity Policy Challenges

Editorial in Science by Georgina Mace and Hal Mooney (DIVERSITAS vice chair and chair) on the need for an IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).

Download publication here (PDF, 56 KB)

More information: http://ipbes.net/en/index.asp

2009-09-21Open Access to, and documentation of, Mountain Biodiversity Data

GMBA-DIVERSITAS Workshop and hands-on training in Kunming, China, 29-30 July 2009

More: http://www.gmba.unibas.ch/workshops/kunming.htm

In Chinese: http://www.kib.ac.cn/Html/training/2009081118275338.html

2009-07-13Special edition of the Mountain Forum Bulletin

The July 2009 edition of the Mountain Forum Bulletin, “Mountain Biodiversity: Lifeline for the Future”, is now online. This edition is a joint product of the Mountain Forum, GMBA and the Mountain Research Initiative with support from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and features contributions on research, policy and initiatives from the three networks and partners. It also has a section on interesting links to organisations, resources and projects on Mountain Biodiversity.

The journal can be downloaded here www.mtnforum.org/rsmfnews.cfm?newsid=52

2009-07-13New publication: Mountain Biodiversity and Climate Change

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has recently produced a new public interest booklet on ‘Mountain Biodiversity and Climate Change’ developed from the contributions made at the International Mountain Biodiversity Conference in November 2008 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The publication uses a question and answer format with beautiful illustrations to introduce a selection of the ideas presented and discussed by representatives from the eight countries of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas region and a variety of global programmes and others. It highlights the need for cooperation in research and data collection to help address the impacts of climate change on this mountain system which includes parts of four global biodiversity hotspots. The full conference proceedings is packaged on a CD-ROM included with the booklet.
You can download both documents from the following sites:

Mountain Biodiversity and Climate Change http://books.icimod.org/index.php/search/publication/613

Proceedings of the International Mountain Biodiversity Conference: Kathmandu, 16-18 November 2008 (2009) http://books.icimod.org/index.php/search/publication/612

2009-05-04Summer school: Predictive habitat distribution models: tools for building projections of global change impact on biodiversity

7-10 September 2009, at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Organizers: A. Guisan, W. Thuiller & N.E. Zimmermann, Guest lecturers: Thomas Edwards, Stefan Dullinger, Martin Sykes.
An initiative of the FP6 ECOCHANGE project

Participants will be limited to 25. Applications (incl. CV and motivation) should be sent to antoine.guisan [at] unil.ch no later than 15 May 2009

Get more information here (PDF, 48 KB)

2009-05-04Invitation: Survey on Mountain Biodiversity for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat

The survey is part of the support of the Mountain Forum and partners to the CBD Secretariat in reviewing the implementation of the CBD programme of work on mountain biodiversity.

To participiate in the survey, use this link http://www.mtnforum.org/mf-cbd/survey09/home.cfm

2009-05-04New paper: Global Statistics of ‘‘Mountain’’ and ‘‘Alpine’’ Research

Using the Web of Science, a bibliometric analysis of the worldwide research activities associated with mountains — or the alpine part of mountains — is presented, according to country, institution, and subject. Half of the human population depends on mountains in one way or another, and mountains cover (depending on the definition) between 12 and 26% of the ice-free terrestrial area. About 20% of the human population lives in mountains or their immediate forelands. One third of all protected areas are in mountains, and they supply water to nearly one half of the world population (Körner and Ohsawa 2005). Which are the countries that are contributing most to scientific research in mountains? Which are the leading institutions? How much are various fields of science contributing to the international scientific mountain literature?

Ch. Körner (2009) Global Statistics of ‘‘Mountain’’ and ‘‘Alpine’’ Research. Mountain Research and Development, 29(1), 97-102

Download article here http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1659/mrd.1108

2009-05-04New ICIMOD periodical: Biodiversity and Climate Change in the Himalayas

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has published a new periodical about Biodiversity and Climate Change in the Himalayas.

The periodical can be downloaded here http://books.icimod.org/index.php/search/publication/601

2009-04-08Second DIVERSITAS Open Science Conference: Biodiversity and society: understanding connections, adapting to change

13-16 October 2009, Cape Town, South Africa

Following up on the success of the First DIVERSITAS Open Science Conference "Integrating biodiversity science for human well-being" (9-12 November 2005, Oaxaca, Mexico), and in order to provide in-depth overviews of a broad range of topics in biodiversity research and initiate biodiversity research projects around the world, DIVERSITAS is pleased to announce its Second Open Science Conference

Get more information here http://www.diversitas-osc.org

2009-04-06Journal Mountain Research and Development now online and open access

The Journal Mountain Research and Development is now available online and open access. It has an upgraded, peer-reviewed development section. As of mid-April 2009 efficient online submission and review process will start. Vol. 29 No. 1 will feature Global statistics of Mountain and Alpine Research - a bibliometric analysis of the worldwide research activities associated with mountains by Christian Körner.

For more information on new editorial policies see www.mrd-journal.org

Online access to all issues from 2000 at BioOne: www.bioone.org/loi/mred

2009-03-23Job announcement: PhD position in plant ecology in an interdisciplinary research project in the Swiss Alps

The interdisciplinary research project (5 disciplines involved: Plant ecology, Soil science, Hydrology, Environmental Economics, and -as cooperative partner- History) aims at assessing the significance of land cover and related land use for water balance and soil stability. The team will quantify effects of land cover/land use changes on biodiversity, water yield, soil erodibility, flood risk, and the indirect assets for tourism, and agriculture under a sustainability perspective for alpine regions. Monetary values will be attributed to the observed and projected changes (last and future 50 years, respectively; past changes will be evidenced by historical trends). The research project will be carried out in the test region Ursern Valley (central Swiss Alps) at different spatial (plant species to catchment) and temporal scales (current; last and future 50 years).

Entrance: immediately; start of the project: 1st of April 2009

Download a detailed job description here (PDF, 28 KB)

2009-03-23Webcasts available: Darwin Symposium Twenty-First Century Ecosystems: Systemic Risk and the Public Good

Webcasts of all talks of the Darwin Symposium in Washington DC, February 10-12 2009, are now available online.

The goal of the symposium was to focus attention on both the opportunities for designing policies that strengthen and make use of biodiversity and ecosystem services and the dangers of pursuing policies that put ecosystems at risk. Speakers discussed the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems to the public good, and examined the intersection of biodiversity and ecosystem services with key policy issues including climate change and energy; trade, pests and pathogens; and food security.

View webcasts here

2009-03-1215th Meeting of the FAO-CIHEAM Mountain Pastures Network: Integrated research for the sustainability of mountain pastures

7 - 9 October 2009, Les Diablerets, Switzerland

The main of objectives of the meeting are giving an overview on the various possibilities of financing international projects, a definition of joined research projects (continuation of COST proposal: Plant biodiversity and high-quality animal products from mountain grassland systems), involvement of early-stage researchers, to describe the state of the scientific knowledge.

For more information and registration http://fao09.adcf.ch

2009-03-12New book: The Biology of Alpine Habitats

The book provides a global overview of alpine habitats that occur above the natural tree line, describing the factors that have shaped them over both ecological and evolutionary timescales. The broad geographic coverage helps synthesise common features whilst revealing differences in the world's major alpine systems from the Arctic to the Tropics.

The book considers habitat-forming factors (landforms, energy and climate, hydrology, soils, and vegetation) individually, as well as their composite impacts on habitat characteristics. Evolution and population processes are examined in the context of the responsiveness / resilience of alpine habitats to global change. Finally, a critical assessment of the potential impacts of climate change, atmospheric pollutants and land use is made and related to the management and conservation options available for these unique habitats.

Laszlo Nagy, EcoScience Scotland / Department of Conservation Biology, University of Vienna
Georg Grabherr, Department of Conservation Biology, University of Vienna

Download more information here (PDF, 100 KB)

2009-03-06Workshop and Conference Reports Available

The reports of the GMBA workshop 'Geostatistics and Biodiversity Information in the Himalayas' and of the international mountain biodiversity conference on 'Biodiversity and Land Use, Biosphere Reserves and Transboundary Parks under Natural and Human Pressures of Global Change', November 2008 in Kathmandu, Nepal, are now available.

Download Workshop report here (PDF, 92 KB)

To download the conference and other workshop reports see http://www.icimod.org/?page=340

2009-02-26Invitation for contributions: Mountain Forum/GMBA/ MRI Bulletin, July 2009 on Mountain Biodiversity

The Mountain Forum, GMBA, and MRI would like to invite your contribution to the July 2009 special edition of the Mountain Forum Bulletin focusing on mountain biodiversity. It is a unique co‐ production of the Mountain Forum (MF), Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment (GMBA) of DIVERSITAS, and the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI).

The joint Mountain Forum Bulletin will provide an introduction to mountain biodiversity at the global level and include highlights from all major mountain regions.
Articles are invited that focus on:
• the importance of mountain biodiversity (for e.g. crop production, food security, slope stabilization)
• changes in biodiversity in your mountain region; and how they relate to drivers of change in biodiversity such climate change, land‐use
• research, development , policy and capacity development activities undertaken to protect or enhance biodiversity, including results and what can be learned or improved

Deadline for submissions is 27 March 2009

Download detailed information here (PDF, 228 KB)

2009-02-26Meeting of the GMBA Scientific Steering Committee

On 13 February 2009 the members of the GMBA Steering Committee met at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. The aim of the meeting was to get an overview of past and current activities relevant for GMBA and to present GMBA activities. At the moment GMBA is setting up a mountain portal at the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) . In summer 2010 GMBA will organise the second GMBA conference on Mountain Biodiversity.

From left to right: Hang Sun, José Sarukhan, Mary Arroyo, Christian Körner, Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard, Eva Spehn, Falk Hüttmann, Curtis Daehler, Richard Bardgett

2009-02-26International Conference on Biodiversity Informatics: e-biosphere 09

1-3 June 2009, London, England

The e-Biosphere 09 International Conference on Biodiversity Informatics will bring together an exceptional array of speakers and participants to highlight the achievements in Biodiversity Informatics today and to discuss strategies for its future.

Deadline for registration is 1 May 2009

Get more information and register herewww.e-biosphere09.org

2009-01-12Darwin Symposium Twenty-First Century Ecosystems: Systemic Risk and the Public Good

February 11 – February 12, 2009, Washington DC, USA

The goal of the symposium is to focus attention on both the opportunities for designing policies that strengthen and make use of biodiversity and ecosystem services and the dangers of pursuing policies that put ecosystems at risk. Speakers will discuss the importance of biodiversity and ecosystems to the public good, and examine the intersection of biodiversity and ecosystem services with key policy issues including climate change and energy; trade, pests and pathogens; and food security. The presentations and discussions at the symposium will be summarized and published in a National Academy workshop report.

Conference registration opens in December. For additional details, visit the USNC/DIVERSITAS website http://www7.nationalacademies.org/usnc-diversitas/index.html

The symposium will be followed by the meeting of the GMBA scientific committee.