for sustainable development


Article by ISOE authors in the Top Ten selection of the International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management

The global loss of biodiversity is continuing – despite numerous initiatives and programmes for biodiversity. A lack of action is often mentioned as its possible cause. In the article "Halting biodiversity loss: how social-ecological biodiversity research makes a difference" Marion Mehring and other ISOE authors take up this argument and expand on it by also adding knowledge deficit. As long as there is a lack of knowledge about how the loss of biodiversity is related to societal causes, it is impossible to act in a targeted manner to protect biodiversity. Marion Mehring’s article was selected by the International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management as one of the top ten contributions in 2017.

Transdisciplinary biodiversity research

Biological diversity is indispensable for mankind and a natural resource worthy of protection. This commodity is endangered, mainly by human activities and climate change. As a result, unprecedented changes in the ecosystem, both intended and unintended, are occurring at a speed hitherto unknown, which also threatens people's livelihoods. But in order to counteract this development, how can goal-oriented action look like?

In their scientific contribution to the Open Access Journal, Marion Mehring, Barbara Bernard, Diana Hummel, Stefan Liehr and Alexandra Lux from ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research argue that knowledge for action must be promoted in order to achieve a successful biodiversity policy. The authors have identified a lack of system knowledge as well as orientation and transformation knowledge. There is no sufficient knowledge about the basic connections between the loss of biodiversity and its societal causes and on the subsequent effects.

A societal debate on the conservation of biodiversity is urgently needed

The ISOE authors are convinced that, in order to stop the progressive loss of biodiversity, a societal debate is needed. The following important questions should be discussed as a matter of urgency. What beneficial or harmful effects does society experience from biodiversity? Are these effects spread evenly amongst the social groups? Which ecosystem services do we wish to retain? In order to close the knowledge gaps, a social-ecological biodiversity research is necessary, the authors argue, because it emphasizes the positive and negative causes and consequences of societal action for biodiversity. The transdisciplinary approach enables social-ecological biodiversity research to integrate societal needs for knowledge and action.

Marion Mehring’s article was included in the Top Ten selection by the journal IJBESM – International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management. The selection committee emphasized the role of the article as an "ambassador" for the journal. It establishes a special reference to the objectives of IJBESM, which assembles results and recommendations for decision making in relation to ecosystem services and biodiversity, sustainable land and water management, land use planning and nature conservation.

Mehring, Marion/Barbara Bernard/Diana Hummel/Stefan Liehr/Alexandra Lux (2017): Halting biodiversity loss: how social-ecological biodiversity research makes a difference. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 13 (1), 172–180



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