May 27: WED Biodiversity Symposium with E.O. Wilson

Biodiversity and the Future of Life on Earth: a World Environment Day Biodiversity Symposium. On May 10, the United Nations released a report which concluded that unless radical and creative action is taken quickly to conserve the variety of life on Earth, natural systems that support lives and livelihoods are at risk of collapsing. They found that the five principal pressures directly driving biodiversity loss -- habitat change, over-exploitation, pollution, invasive species, and climate change -- are either constant or increasing in intensity.

Come and learn about the impact of human action on biodiversity on May 27 at a half-day symposium, followed by a special reception with the founder of Biodiversity movement: Edward O. Wilson.

You are an integral part of nature; your fate is tightly linked with biodiversity, the huge variety of other animals and plants, the places they live and their surrounding environments, all over the world. More than 42% of anti-cancer drugs come from natural sources. The value of global ecosystem services is estimated at $16-$64 trillion. Some 75% of all fisheries are fully exploited or over-fished. Species like cod, haddock and halibut are already threatened. If we do not move towards sustainable use, there will be no fish left for our grandchildren.

Featuring E.O. Wilson as keynote speaker, along with a host of local, national and international experts, we can begin with an initial visioning for a New American Dream that is environmentally sustainable, developed by participants in this event - a roadmap that will address the effect people have on the environment, and the critical inter-relationships between human habitat and the quality of life for generations to come.

E. O. Wilson, two-time Pulitzer prize winner, world-renowned entomologist and one of the scientists who provided research data to Rachel Carson while she was writing Silent Spring, will be joined by Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox, Deputy Director of the United Nations Environment Programme North America, and Dr. Richard Benedick, U.N. Ambassador (ret.) and President, National Council on Science and the Environment, and Terry Collins of the Institute of Green Science at Carnegie Mellon University at this once-in-a-lifetime event.

1-8 p.m. at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. $25 ($10 students) for the symposium and lecture; additional fee for the evening reception. The event is part of the U.N. World Environment Day in North America and is co-hosted by the Rachel Carson Homestead and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. For more information and to register, visit the Symposium web site.

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