- Conservation organisations are making plans to set up a common language for biodiversity conservation, to talk about problems encountered in field and potential solutions.
BirdLife's head of Science and co-author of A Standard Lexicon for Biodiversity Conservation, Unified Classifications of Threats and Actions (Conservation Biology), Ali Stattersfield noted that, practitioners need a common language that would enable them to readily talk about their profession.
According to report release by the body today, these classifications will enable conservationists around world to identify threats and potential actions, allocate resources and set priorities.
Authors of A Standard Lexicon for Biodiversity Conservation have merged best elements of previous initiatives by several organisations (including the Conservation Measures Partnership and the IUCN Species Survival Commission) into unified classifications of threats and actions.
For instance, the report shows that when new classifications were applied to 1,191 threatened bird species and 737 conservation projects, they were found to provide an improved way of analysing and comparing information across projects.
Classifications are being distributed to conservation practitioners, organisations and agencies around the world, the report says, adding that they are also being included in several conservation planning tools and databases, including World Bird Database and IUCN's Species Information System.
It further indicates that most importantly, new classifications will facilitate cross-project learning by allowing practitioners to precisely describe chains linking targets, threats, contributing factors as well as actions.
"These can then be shared through common databases of conservation practice, enabling practitioners to share and compare experiences more readily, ultimately leading to the development of a more systematic science of biodiversity conservation," commented Dr Stuart Butchart, BirdLife's Global Research and Indicators Coordinator.
"Just as it has become accepted scientific practice to refer to species by their scientific name alongside their common name, we hope that conservationists will use the classifications of threats and actions to describe and report on their work around the world," Dr Butchart, added.
He went on to explain how the scheme works in practice, "for example, the Critically Endangered Tuamotu Kingfisher Todiramphus gambieri is threatened by predation and competition from invasive Black Rat Rattus rattus and by cyclones causing loss of nesting trees. The new system allows us to clearly define these threats as 'Invasive and other problematic species' and 'Climate change and severe weather: storms/flooding'. A key conservation action required is the provision of nest boxes to increase the availability of nest-sites. This comes under the action category 'Species recovery: species management.'"
Pioneering research to help biodiversity survive the impacts of climate change across Africa was announced at a workshop in Kigali, Rwanda last month.
The project has mapped current and future distributions of all bird species on mainland Africa by using climate change models to determine distance and direction of shifts for each species in the future.
A particular emphasis of the work is to understand how well Important Bird Areas (IBAs) network in Africa can sustain the continent's bird with future climate change. Dr Julius Arinaitwe, BirdLife International's Regional IBA Manager for Africa, said "There are very few plans to protect biodiversity from the effects of climate change anywhere in the world. BirdLife International is leading the drive to develop strategies to protect our unique wildlife for future generations."
BirdLife's preventing extinctions programme aims to save all 190 critically endangered birds, including the Tuamotu Kingfisher, by finding species champions who will fund work of identified species guardians for each bird.
The Species Guardian for Tuamotu Kingfisher - Société d'Ornithologie de Polynésie (BirdLife in French Polynesia), is currently striving to help save species from extinction.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.