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Conservation Research Institute


CCI Conservation Seminar - Prof. Andrew Gonzalez, McGill University

Biodiversity science for 2030 - knowledge needs to support action to reach the targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework


There has never been more interest in allocating resources to reversing biodiversity loss. The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework is a theory of change with an explicit focus on addressing the causes of biodiversity loss and the action needed to reverse current biodiversity trends. Bending the curve for biodiversity is possible, but only if actions are implemented urgently and in an integrated manner across all sectors of society. This requires knowledge of where, why, and how fast biodiversity is changing. The implementation of the GBF is hindered because information about biodiversity change is geographically patchy, and our estimates of trends in biodiversity and ecosystem metrics are highly uncertain. I will present an overview of our work addressing these challenges. First, I will present a detection and attribution framework for biodiversity change needed to guide action; I will include examples that motivate the application of the framework. Then I will present a proposal to establish a Global Biodiversity Observing System to fill a large knowledge gap at the science-policy interface. I will motivate the need for GBiOS through an assessment of our capability to detect changes in global biodiversity trends and how this capability can be improved over time. 


Andrew Gonzalez is Professor and Liber Ero Chair in Biodiversity Conservation in the Department of Biology, McGill University. He obtained a BSc Hons. from the University of Nottingham and his PhD from Imperial College, London. He has published more than 170 articles on the causes and consequences of biodiversity and ecosystem change, including ecological and evolutionary dimensions of human impacts. He is also the founding Director of the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science and a co-Chair of the international network the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON). He supported science input to the in the lead up to COP15 of the UN CBD that resulted in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. He has spoken widely on biodiversity change including at TEDx and the World Economic Forum in Davos. He is the cofounder of Habitat a company providing science advice and design principles for conserving and restoring biodiversity.  

Join us for refreshments in the DAB Common Room afterwards.

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Wednesday, 14 February, 2024 - 16:00 to 17:00
Event location: 
Main Seminar Room, David Attenborough Building