Not many people know what the term ‘biodiversity’ means or that there is an important biodiversity conference in Nagoya, Japan, in less than 2 weeks.
However, people are worried about the drastic loss of native species, the effects of climate change on global wildlife and over-fishing, and these are threats to biodiversity (the diversity of plants and animals on Earth and the habitats they depend on).
In preparation for the conference (The Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, COP10), the Big Nature Debate at the Natural History Museum is exploring public concerns about biodiversity loss, and getting people to have their say, through forums, expert blogs, Twitter and Facebook.
The issues raised will be put to a panel for a debate live online tomorrow at 3:30pm, and the results will be passed on to the UK government before representatives from the 193 countries arrive for the conference, beginning on 18 October.
Big Nature Debate panellists include Professor Jon Hutton, Director of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), Professor Robert Watson, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Paul Smith, Head of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Dr Chris Lyal, Research Entomologist, the Natural History Museum, Professor Jonathan Baillie, Conservation Programmes Director for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
The decisions made at COP10 will be crucial for the future of biodiversity, and they could affect how we protect, manage and make use of the planet’s diversity of life for decades to come.
It's not too late to add your questions to the Big Nature Debate and let leaders know that you think biodiversity issues are important.
The Big Nature Debate is part of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) and is a partnership with the IYB UK, ZSL and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.