Smithsonian hosts panel to discuss 1986 Biodiversity Forum

May 15, 2002

As part of the first U.S. Biodiversity Month, the Smithsonian Institution is hosting a panel presentation revisiting the 1986 National Forum on Biodiversity. Biodiversity Month is a program of International Biodiversity Observation Year (IBOY) and the United Nations International Day for Biological Diversity.

The panel will bring together for a second time some of the scientists who have shaped the biodiversity debate over the last sixteen years and will provide a historical perspective to current debates.

The panel presenation will feature video segments and key speakers from the 1986 Forum. The speakers will address issues that have continued to be at the forefront of the biodiversity research and policy agenda. Speakers include the following:

* Moderator, Thomas Lovejoy, The Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

* Scott Miller, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

* James Nations, Conservation International

* Elizabeth Losos, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

* Michael Vecchione, Smithsonian Institution and NOAA

Fran Sharples, representative from National Academy of Sciences and co-sponsor of the first Forum, will provide the national perspective addressing "Results to Date in National Academy of Science Programs Related to Biodiversity."

Other topics, many of which were considered in depth at the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 6) earlier this year, include:

* Scientific Initiatives Since the Forum

* Measuring, Monitoring and Bioinformatics

* International Steps to Protect Biodiversity

A focus of this retrospective will include the marine environment in disucssion, a topic covered in the first Forum mainly through film programming.

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

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