Peter Kareiva, chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, will give a talk on “Conservation in a Human-Dominated World Experiencing Economic Crisis” at Belmont University, Tuesday, March 24, from 7 to 8 p.m. The talk will take place in the Neely Dining Room of the Jack C. Massey Business Center and is part of a year-long series organized around the university’s hosting of last fall’s Town Hall Presidential Debate. There is no charge to attend the lecture, and the public is invited.
A university scientist by training, Kareiva (pronounced Kuh-REEV-uh) has published and lectured widely on the need for 21st century conservation that goes beyond setting aside protected areas just for rare plants and animals. In a world challenged by exploding population and finite resources, Kareiva has argued for focusing on protecting ecosystems that are most vital to people’s health and their needs for survival. Unless conservation is better connected to people and their needs, he maintains, it will fail.
As Kareiva and colleague Michelle Marvier wrote in Scientific American in October 2007, “The public and some governments increasingly view efforts to preserve biological diversity as elevating the needs of plants and animals above those of humans. To reverse this trend — and to better serve humanity and threatened organisms — we and a growing number of conservationists argue that old ways of prioritizing conservation activities should be largely scrapped in favor of an approach that emphasizes saving ecosystems that have value to people. Our plan should save many species, while protecting human health and livelihoods.”
Kareiva is also a co-founder and director of a pioneering collaboration involving Stanford University, the World Wildlife Fund, and The Nature Conservancy called the Natural Capital Project. The joint venture is developing ways to place credible monetary values on the “ecosystem services” that nature provides. That is, the Natural Capital Project is working to make clear that the benefits nature provides us, which we often take for granted — flood and disease control, water filtration, climate regulation, soil formation — are not actually free. There is a cost, and we can pay now or we will surely pay later.
There will be an opening reception for Kareiva at 5:30 in the Frist Lecture Hall on the fourth floor of the Gordon Inman Center, and the public is invited.
Peter Kareiva is available for media interviews by phone prior to March 23. To arrange an interview or obtain a headshot of Kareiva, contact Paul Kingsbury, 615-516-4480 cell, 615-383-9909, ext. 228 office or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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