Global Biodiversity:
Earth’s living resources in the 21st century

In the year that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was opened for signature, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC) published an extended introduction to the then unfamiliar term ‘biodiversity’ – Global Biodiversity: status of the Earth’s living resources. Now, thanks to the support of the Hoechst Foundation, WCMC has been able to build on nearly a decade of further research and analysis, both its own and that done by the wider conservation community, to publish a second volume, Global Biodiversity: Earth’s living resources in the 21st century. This outlines some of the broad ecological relationships between humans and the rest of the biosphere, and summarizes information bearing on the health of the world.

The first part of Global Biodiversity opens with an outline of some fundamental aspects of material cycles and energy flows within the biosphere. This is followed by discussion of the components of biological diversity, and an account of its expansion through geological time as well as the pattern of its distribution over the surface of the Earth.

The second part is concerned with material relationships between humans and biodiversity, covering the salient features of our impacts on the environment from the earliest hominids onwards, and the uses currently made of elements of biodiversity. This part also summarizes information on trends in the condition of the main ecosystem types and the species integral to them, contributing to objective analysis of the state of the biosphere at the dawn of this third millennium.

‘Global Biodiversity deliberately refrains from making any predictive statements about where humans' current behaviour patters may ultimately lead us,’ the authors, Brian Groombridge and Martin Jenkins explain. ’Rather it attempts to present a balanced portrait of the living Earth at the end of the 20th century. It is our hope that Global Biodiversity may serve as a frame of reference for our future actions, actions that will help determine how long we, as a species, continue to enjoy a place amongst the other denizens of this strange, blue planet.’

Global Biodiversity: Earth’s living resources in the 21st century is published by WCMC, price £29.99 ($50.00) plus postage and packing. For proforma invoice contact:

WCMC, 219 Huntingdon Road
Cambridge CB3 0DL, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1223 277314; Fax: +44 1223 277136

This issue:
Contents | Editorial K. Toepfer | Critical crossroads | Genetically engineered crops... | Sustainable solutions | Protect elephants | Getting it together | CITES: 2000 and beyond | At a glance | Competition | Interpol alert | Deep waters, high stakes | Tall trees and bottom lines | Globalizing solutions | Global Biodiversity... | Walking on the wild side... | Voices of the Earth | Millennium massacre

Complementary articles in other issues:
GEO 2000 (Small Islands) 1999
Vernon Heywood: Mapping the way of life (UNEP 25) 1997
The Global Environment Outlook (UNEP 25) 1997