The Global Biodiversity Assessment

The SCOPE program was expanded somewhat following initiation by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) of a Global Biodiversity Assessment (GBA). In mid-1993, a group met in Trondheim, Norway, to prepare an outline of such an assessment. It was decided that the SCOPE effort (as well as other DIVERS IT AS components) would be incorporated into the GBA, as noted in the publications below. The GBA is intended to provide the scientific underpinnings for the Biodiversity Convention.

The constraints on space for the Global Biodiversity Assessment meant that each system could only receive a few pages of text. Thus the material had to be greatly condensed and tightly structured. For each system a number of ecosystem processes or properties were considered, and the human impacts on them were described, and the ecosystem con sequences of these impacts were assessed. There were then comparisons across systems for commonalities in responses. These assessments were reviewed by a iarge international peer group and their comments incorporated. Since the initial and amended program all represent a single effort to understand the consequences of a changc in diversity on ecosystem services, we take our concluding chapter from all of them. Thus the information gathered for this SCOPE program is held at several levels of detail. First the system-specific volumes noted above, this volume, which has lengthy considerations of a larger set of biomes, and then the GBA which has highly condensed considerations of an even larger set of biomes.

We gratefully acknowledge support for this program from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the A.W. Mellon Foundation, the European Commission, and from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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