House of Cards

The perilous state of global biodiversity

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January 2013

House of Cards

The perilous state of global biodiversity

This time around, Dimensions takes on the critical and intertwining subjects of global biodiversity and ecosystem services. We are especially delighted to feature an exclusive introduction by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, whose thought-provoking piece sets the tone for a variety of articles, interviews and opinions on these increasingly important issues.

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Biodiversity in the Anthropocene

Anantha Duraiappah Portrait

Anantha Kumar Duraiappah | Read more

Feature Article

Foreword • His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales

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His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales | Read more

Feature Article

The Invisible Ruin

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Global man-made biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation are subtly eating away at the Earth’s natural systems, and restricting nature’s ability to self-correct. Societies must return to a sustainable path before it is too late.

Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne Ehrlich | Read more


More than a Commodity

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Dr. Marja Spierenburg of VU University Amsterdam talks about how nature influences our cultures and why marketing ecosystem services comes with a risk. |Read more

Feature Article

The Ups and Downs of Biological and Cultural Diversity

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Have you ever wondered why it seems like many of the most biologically rich regions of the world are populated by indigenous peoples?

Victoria Reyes-García | Read more


Biodiversity from the Ground Up

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Luc Gnacadja of the UNCCD discusses IPBES and the importance of land and soil management in reaching global biodiversity targets. |Read more

Feature Article

Beyond Rhetoric

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Crowdsourcing knowledge for IPBES

Prof. Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, Martin Thormann, Jaya Sinnathamby and Carmen Scherkenbach | Read more


Opinions on IPBES


We asked our research community for their thoughts on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Here’s what they said. |Read more

Feature Article

Whose Ecosystem is it Anyway?

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The concept of ecosystem services can be a powerful and integral tool for bringing ecology and sustainability into the economic policymaking fold. But in monetizing Earth’s natural benefits, we risk alienating those communities most in need of protection.

Joy Merwin Monteiro | Read more


Ubiquitous Biodiversity


Observations on our daily interactions with biodiversity, and what we can learn by paying close attention to the ecosystem services that surround us.

Louise Schenk | Read more

Feature Article

Earth First

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The world will mobilize to save biodiversity if we can convey that the fate of humanity is tangled up with the fate of life as a whole.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias | Read more

Feature Article

What's it Worth?

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How and why are the prices of the “priceless” calculated, and who is doing the math? |Read more


Satoyama and Satoumi to the Rescue

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Professor Kazuhiko Takeuchi of the United Nations University tells IHDP’s Carmen Scherkenbach how the Japanese concepts of Satoyama and Satoumi will be crucial to a sustainable future in the wake of Japan’s recent crises. |Read more


Japanese Green

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Kazuaki Hoshino of the Japanese Environmental Ministry on ways to foster Satoyama landscapes worldwide, and why they have a unique potential to overcome cultural, political and economic barriers to sustainability. |Read more


Back from the Journey

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Evaluating and ultimately ranking creative articles on sometimes very different subject matter as part of one contest is a challenge. |Read more

First Place Winner

A morning in the life-giving Bangweulu swamps

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The Bangweulu swamps and floodplains in northern Zambia are home to the unique Shoebill stork. The human inhabitants of the swamps are descended from hunter-gatherer-fisher tribes, and these people’s lives are still intimately linked to their environment.

Carl Huchzermeyer | Read more

Second Place Winner

The City as Urban Reef

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Reflections on the habitation of the Coral Triangle

José Edgardo Abaya Gomez, Jr. | Read more

Third Place Winner

Hunting for a Solution

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Bushmeat and Biodiversity in Tropical Forests

Cooper Rosin | Read more

Fourth Place Winner

When a tree falls in a forest (and doesn’t make a sound)

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Ecosystem services are intrinsically linked to human well-being. In order to ensure that present and future generations can lead happy and healthy lives, we must understand the inter-dependency of social and ecological systems—and that simplifying ecosystems comes with a cost.

Marta Berbés-Blázquez | Read more

Fifth Place Winner

One planet, many futures

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Since the dawn of mankind, Nature has demonstrated a seemingly endless capacity to endure humanity’s misadventures. But evidence continues to mount that this capacity is reaching its limit. We must not forget that we have but one planet, one home—and the damage we are doing is irreversible.

Ruenda Loots | Read more