This episode explores the question of whether the conservation message is "getting through" and, "if not, why not"? Communication of this message is necessary because governments, businesses, communities, organizations and individuals need to be aware, and inspired, in order to take action. My guest had some insightful, and surprisingly positive, perspectives on this issue.
Tim Hirsch studied history at Cambridge University before embarking on a diverse career, including as environmental correspondent for BBC TV. He is currently deputy director of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), which we discuss at some length during this episode. He has also been centrally responsible for the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO), the 5th edition of which is hot off the press at the time of posting this episode. The GBO is a periodic report that provides a summary of the global status of biodiversity and an analysis of the steps being taken to improve that status.
Links to resources:
Global Biodiversity Information Facility - Tim's organization, which is "an international network and research infrastructure funded by the world's governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on Earth".
Global Biodiversity Outlook - A periodic publication by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which provides a summary of the global status of biodiversity and an analysis of the steps being taken to improve that status.
iNaturalist - One of the world’s most popular nature apps, which helps the user to identify the plants and animals around them.
eBird - An online database of bird observations providing scientists, researchers and amateur naturalists with real-time data about bird distribution and abundance.
How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean? - A peer-reviewed paper mentioned in the episode, which estimates the number of species in the world.
Effective Conservation Science: Data Not Dogma - See chapter 18,
Science communication is receiving a lot of attention, but there’s room to improve - A book and chapter discussed in the episode, about two authors' perceptions of the shortcomings of conservation communication.
IPBES assessments - A series of international assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services by an independent intergovernmental body established under the auspices of the United Nations.