Loss of biodiversity – Is there still hope?

Conversation | suitable for youth/adults

Conversation with Sandra M. Díaz, Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson and Helge Brattebø.

You must have heard of the UN climate change panel (IPCC), but did you know that the UN also has a nature panel (IPBES)? The nature panel just published a report on the global assessment of biodiversity, which is the most comprehensive ever done. Approximately 400 experts have reviewed and summarized over 15,000 research studies on the developmental of species diversity in nature. The results are frightening!

Sandra Díaz from Argentina is a world-leading researcher in the field, and she led the work on this report. She is now awarded the Gunnerus Prize in Sustainability for her important contributions. Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson is a Norwegian conservation biologist, well known from media and her blog ‘Insektøkologene’, as well as her new book ‘Terra Insecta’, sold to 22 countries.

In this conversation, Helge Brattebø, head of NTNU’s sustainability area, will hear what Sandra and Anne are thinking about these developments and how they work in their research. Are there so many species disappearing that we actually have a natural crisis, not just a climate crisis? How can we know this is the case? Can we see this in practice? What are the consequences of many species disappearing? What can we do about this, politically, and you and I? Is it too late to avoid this crisis, or is there still hope?

Sandra M. Díaz 
Sandra Myrna Díaz is a professor of ecology at the National University of Córdoba. She studies the functional traits of plants and investigates how plants impact the ecosystem. Díaz is a senior member of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences of Argentina. She is one of the top 1% most cited scientists in the world. She was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2019.

Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson

Anne is a professor in conservation biology at the Norwegian Univ. of Life Sciences NMBU. She is also a scientific advisor at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research NINA. Anne teaches forest and nature management, conservation biology and entomology. The majority of her research is about how human land use affect forest biodiversity and thus also the ecosystem services forests provide. She is particularly interested in the elusive and unseen species diversity, like insects and fungi in old and dead trees, as well as in the ecological role of insects in nature. She is responsible for a national monitoring program for ancient oaks. Anne also enjoys outreach work and is the author of an internationally bestselling book about insects, Insektenes planet, translated into 23 languages.

Helge Brattebø
Brattebø is Professor of Industrial Ecology, Director NTNU’s thematic strategic area NTNU Sustainability, and workpackage leader in FME ZEN Research Centre. Brattebø serves as Editor of the Journal of Industrial Ecology, and have had different roles with the International Society for Industrial Ecology. Since January 2013 his has been professor of Industrial Ecology at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering, and since 2017 Director of NTNU Sustainability.

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