DIVERSITAS: An International Programme of Biodiversity Science
DIVERSITAS was co-sponsored by five international scientific organizations: the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS). DIVERSITAS belongs to a family of four global change programmes (IGBP, WCRP, IHDP and DIVERSITAS), which have ICSU as a common sponsor.
The past decade has seen the birth of the Convention on Biological Diversity, of many conservation programmes aimed at protecting biodiversity, as well as many national research programmes dedicated to developing biodiversity science. Scientific efforts, however, need international coordination to address the complex scientific questions posed by the loss and change of biodiversity globally. Many of these questions also require a research framework integrated across disciplines. DIVERSITAS provided such an international multi-disciplinary research framework.
The overall mission of DIVERSITAS was:
- to promote integrative biodiversity science, linking biological, ecological and social disciplines in an effort to produce socially relevant new knowledge;
- to provide the scientific basis for an understanding of biodiversity loss, and to draw out the implications for policies for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
DIVERSITAS worked towards these goals by synthesising existing scientific knowledge, identifying gaps and emerging issues of global importance, promoting new research initiatives, building bridges across countries and disciplines, investigating policy implications of biodiversity science, and communicating these to policy-makers and international conventions.
At the end of 2014, the projects under DIVERSITAS transferred into Future Earth.