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IU Professor Leads Global Biodiversity Study

Indiana University

An Indiana University professor was named co-lead of a United Nations assessment on biodiversity. The study will identify threats to the parts of nature that society depends on.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES, is a three-year study conducted by over 100 scientists from around the world. IU Anthropology Professor Eduardo Brondízio is one of three co-chairs for the project. He says biodiversity and ecosystem services are technical terms for fundamental principles.

“But in fact in our daily languages we talk about nature and nature’s benefit to people, right? How different groups of people are affected by different forms of relationship with nature and by different types of environmental change,” says Brondízio.

For example, clean water is a necessary ecosystem service for Indiana’s large agriculture industry.

“The water of Indiana is a precious resource, you know, as much as we look into ways in which developing an agriculture is sustainable in that way,” says Brondízio.

The study will also call attention to the ways cities depend on nature.

“I think a lot of the urban population don’t see how much of their livelihoods depends on maintaining stable river systems, maintaining watersheds, maintaining pollinators elsewhere,” says Brondízio.

The study will be submitted for review in May 2019. 

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