Transcript

00:01Okay, ladies and gentlemen, now we have our keynote speaker, a very special person.

00:07Well, she's following a long history of special people that have spoken to you...

00:11...Ralph Nader, Ed Wilson, Roger Tomlinson, well, Jane Goodall, Wangari Maathai, many people you remember.

00:26This year, we're going to hear from the head of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

00:33But before I introduce her, I'd like to actually show a brief video of that organization.

00:47How much do you love nature?

00:54Do you remember your first walk in a forest?

00:59Your first swim in the ocean?

01:02The first time you saw a wild animal?

01:06We all love nature, we all depend on nature.

01:14More than 40 percent of the world's oxygen comes from rain forests.

01:21Fifty percent of chemical medicines are based on nature.

01:27One hundred percent of our food comes from nature.

01:34Are we taking this for granted?

01:37We need nature to sustain us.

01:43IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature...

01:47...is the world's largest global environmental network, created in 1948.

01:53Together, we're working in more than 160 countries...

01:58...for a just world that values and conserves nature.

02:02With over 1,000 staff; more than 1,200 member organizations, including governments...

02:09...and NGOs; and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists and experts, together we gather...

02:24...the latest knowledge on biodiversity, assessing the status of species, and protecting our natural wonders.

02:42We run hundreds of field projects around the world, such as managing water resources...

02:48...restoring forests, protecting our coasts and oceans...

02:58...and helping companies improve their environmental performance.

03:08We are nature's voice on the international stage, at the IUCN World Conservation Congress...

03:14...at the United Nations General Assembly...

03:18...at international environmental negotiations.

03:22By investing in solutions offered by nature, we can address today's global challenges.

03:29Together, we can stop the extinction of plants and animals, help fight climate change...

03:43...restore natural resources, boost food security, and reduce poverty.

03:53When nature's healthy, our communities, economies, and countries prosper.

04:00Together, let's stand up for nature to create a better future for all of us.

04:10Join us now.

04:27Well, wow.

04:28Thank you.

04:32Julia Marton.

04:35Luh-FEV-ruh.

04:36Lefevre.

04:37Perfect, Monsieur Dangermond.

04:38Oh, very nice.

04:40French, obviously, Julia.

04:43Audience, Julia.

04:45Bonjour. Thank you. Thank you very much, Jack, and thank you for this welcome.

04:51I have to tell you that this morning I was blown away by everything that you know how to do.

04:58So it's a great pleasure to be here.

05:02So, just a month ago, on a remote Pacific island, the world of species conservation lost one of its icons.

05:12His name was Lonesome George, and he was the last of his kind...

05:18...giant tortoises that shuffled the earth during the age of dinosaurs.

05:24How many of you have ever seen Lonesome George?

05:28With George's death, the Pinta tortoise subspecies of the Galapagos has become extinct...

05:36...and the richness and diversity and beauty of life on this planet was diminished.

05:43Lonesome George's lonesome death was well documented...

05:48...unlike many other species that disappear from our planet totally unnoticed.

05:56In fact, while modern technology allows us to monitor the growth of global human population almost in real time...

06:07...we still don't know some of even most basic information about other life on our planet.

06:15How many species...animals, plants, and fungi...there are out there.

06:23Estimates range from 5 to 100 million, with the latest best estimate given by scientists at 8.7 million.

06:35Only a small proportion of this 8.7 million has been identified and described...

06:44...and named by scientists, so around 15 percent.

06:49The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species covers over 60,000...

06:55...or just 3 percent, of all known species.

07:01Still, the IUCN Red List is considered the world's most comprehensive and authoritative...

07:09...source of information on the conservation status of animals and plants.

07:16As you could see a moment ago, the Red List has categories describing the status...

07:22...ranging from least concern, which is not such bad news, to extinct, which is of course terrible.

07:32The Red List is the result of the efforts of thousands of volunteers...

07:38...participating in IUCN's Species Survival Commission...

07:43...as they work together around the world to map, maintain, and publish the data.

07:57...including on such species like bears, grasshoppers, and orchids.

07:59These are the logos of more than 100 specialist groups in our Species Survival Commission...

08:04I would also like to acknowledge and thank the nine organizations which are IUCN Red List partners...

08:11...including NatureServe, BirdLife, and Conservation International.

08:16As you could see in our video, the keyword was together...

08:20...and I think the keyword in this conference has been collaboration.

08:25Without working together in collaboration, we couldn't do what we do.

08:29It is really crucial for our work.

08:34The Red List does cover all major groups of species...

08:39...mammals, birds, amphibians, sharks, reef-building corals, conifers, cycads, mangroves, and sea grasses.

08:50We do have gaps, of course, and the biggest gaps are in fungi, plants, and invertebrates.

08:59So this sample of species indicates how life on earth is faring...

09:04...how little is known, and how urgent the need is to know more.

09:11A couple of years ago, a group of prominent scientists...

09:15...including E. O.Wilson and Simon Stuart...

09:18...who is here with us today, designed a concept...

09:22...to make the IUCN Red List representative of all life on earth.

09:28They called this idea "the barometer of life."

09:32So the idea is to bring together taxonomists, biogeographers, ecologists, conservationists...

09:40...and amateur naturalists to bridge the gap in our knowledge about global biodiversity.

09:48In practical terms, the barometer would triple the number of species currently assessed...

09:55...to 160,000, in just five years.

10:00Such a barometer would be one of the best investments for the good of humanity.

10:06At the moment, however, the barometer of life is falling rapidly.

10:12It shows us that a storm is, indeed, brewing.

10:19According to the latest update of the IUCN Red List, which we launched last month...

10:24...at the Rio conference, one in four mammals, one in eight birds, one in three corals...

10:33...and two out of three amphibians are threatened with extinction.

10:38Now just imagine if this were news about your family or your own physical well-being.

10:44You would be worried indeed.

10:47As an aside, one of the species on the Red List that is doing rather well is us, homo sapiens.

10:55We are listed as being of least concern, and of course, our population numbers are rising.

11:04So you may justly argue that species extinctions are a part of the natural evolutionary process.

11:13It is so, but what we are witnessing today is species disappearing up to 1,000 times faster...

11:22...than the natural extinction rates calculated from fossil records.

11:28So there is a good reason for us to care about wild species going the way of the dodo or Lonesome George.

11:37These species, together with their genes and the ecosystems in which they live...

11:43...known collectively as biodiversity, are the very foundation of our well-being...

11:50...and, indeed, our own survival on this planet.

11:55They are the source of our food, our water, our fiber, our shelter...

12:00...our medicine, and the list goes on and on.

12:04So can you imagine living on a planet where you would not have the pleasure...

12:08...of a walk in a beautiful forest or a swim in a clean lake, which I love to do?

12:15So on top of meeting these basic human needs, nature is also our source of inspiration.

12:23It recharges our batteries and nourishes our soul.

12:29Speaking of nourishment, more than one billion people worldwide...

12:34...depend on fish for their major source of protein.

12:39However, one in three fish stocks is currently being overfished.

12:46I don't need to remind you what happened when the once-flourishing North Atlantic cod fishery collapsed...

12:53...and the impacts this had on communities on Canada's Eastern Seaboard.

12:59In Newfoundland alone, over 35,000 people lost their jobs and their livelihoods.

13:06Around the world, overfishing costs an estimated US$50 billion a year.

13:16Now let's go to the land.

13:18On land, only four crops--wheat, maize, rice, and sugar--supply more than half...

13:26...of the calories and proteins in the human diet.

13:31So just imagine what would happen if we were to lose one or more of these.

13:38An historic example that is well-known to all of you is the Irish potato famine...

13:44...which killed over a million people and, of course, resulted in the greatest influx...

13:49...of Irish migrants coming to this country.

13:53So if we continue to lose many of the wild relatives of our staple crops as we do today...

14:01...we lose the genetic diversity to develop new strains of food crops that are more nutritious...

14:08...more resistant to disease, and more resilient in face of climate change.

14:15And remember what I said about our population growing.

14:17We're going to have to feed 9 to 10 billion people by 2050.

14:24I hope you also remember the vision of IUCN in that small video...

14:28..."a just world that values and conserves nature."

14:32Everyone has the right to have three square meals.

14:36So without this kind of diversity, we would literally be biting the hand that feeds us.

14:45Nature, of course, also keeps us healthy.

14:48Here in the United States, half of the 100 most prescribed drugs...

14:54...originate from wild species.

14:58One of these is Taxol, widely used in the treatment of cancer.

15:04Taxol comes from a tree called the Himalayan yew...

15:09...and this tree has just entered the top threat category...

15:15...Critically Endangered, on the IUCN Red List.

15:19So imagine how many more future cures could disappear before they're even discovered.

15:29Fortunately, not all news from the Red List is bad.

15:34Conservation has centuries-old roots, and there is increasing evidence...

15:40...that when we put our mind to it, it does work.

15:46One such good news is the story of the black-footed ferret...

15:50...which was considered to be extinct in the wild only 15 years ago.

15:56It has now been reintroduced back into the prairie...

15:59...in the western United States and in Mexico.

16:03I had a very good talk yesterday with the former governor of Wyoming...

16:07...and I have to just remind you that decisions like this depend not only on great data...

16:13...that's very important, but also leadership and good decision making.

16:19Here's another good story.

16:21Since the global ban on commercial whaling in 1968, the humpback whale...

16:27...has made a remarkable comeback, and its population now stands at 60,000 and growing.

16:36This recovery has also allowed for a thriving whale-watching industry to flourish.

16:43So just imagine if you could never have the experience of scouring the ocean...

16:49...in the hopes of sighting one of these magnificent creatures.

16:54The southern white rhino was poached to near extinction.

16:59By 1900, no more than 50 of these rhinos survived...

17:03...in a tiny, little protected area in South Africa.

17:08Thanks to strict conservation measures, 100 years later, there were approximately 20,000...

17:16...of these rhinos roaming throughout southern Africa.

17:21But even with this success, we cannot be complacent.

17:26You probably know that today we're witnessing the worst rhino poaching crisis...

17:31...in history, with rhino horns fetching record prices on the black market.

17:38So these stories illustrate why we need the Red List in the first place...

17:44...to understand the challenge, to set global conservation priorities, to mobilize...

17:51...conservation action, and of course, to influence good decision making.

17:58So what we need most is to connect data with action.

18:03Achieving all of this would be impossible without the cutting-edge GIS technology...

18:08...we've been listening to and hearing about all day today, provided by Esri.

18:16GIS helps us know where the species are.

18:20It has already helped us identify distribution information for about 40,000 species on the Red List.

18:29I remind you that we have been able to assess a little bit more than 60,000.

18:34So thanks to your wonderful technology, we know where to find, among others...

18:40...all the known mammals, birds, amphibians, and a quarter of the world's reptiles.

18:47GIS also helps us locate areas of high biodiversity importance and thereby...

18:55...guide decisions about the conservation action and policy that's needed for these areas.

19:01So for this, IUCN aims to integrate the spatial information in the Red List...

19:08...and in the World Database on Protected Areas...

19:12...with two new products that we're working on just now on key biodiversity areas...

19:18...and on the Red List of ecosystems.

19:21This is but one area where IUCN can provide important inputs to government...

19:28...corporate, and NGO use of geodesign.

19:32This will help them make wise decisions to avoid further species and habitat loss...

19:39...and the consequences of this loss for all of us, for humanity.

19:46GIS also allows businesses to access and use biodiversity data for decision making.

19:54IUCN has been working with a Swiss cement company, Holcim...

19:59...to develop and implement a biodiversity management system.

20:04This system uses the data from the Red List and the World Database on Protected Areas...

20:11...to classify the biodiversity importance of present and future Holcim sites.

20:20Thanks to our collaboration with Esri, IUCN has built strong GIS capacity...

20:26...but we need to do a lot more.

20:29I'm very excited to launch here today a new map application for the Red List...

20:35...so now I'd like to invite my colleague Vineet Katariya to give us a demonstration.

20:40Vineet, please, over to you.

20:49Thank you, Julia.

20:51I was hired by IUCN to build capacity for the Red List six years back.

20:57Before that, species map had started trickling in, but we relied on external partners to give us GIS support.

21:04The vision for GIS came from Simon Stuart, who's sitting here.

21:08He has this incredible job of leading the army of 8,000 scientists...

21:13...who actually give us all this information.

21:17The investments in GIS have given us incredible results, as Julia said.

21:23We've got distribution information for about 40,000 species.

21:27We started in 2006 with one ArcInfo license from the Esri conservation grant program.

21:34Eighty percent of our staff and almost 2,000 of our scientists have access to GIS on the Red List.

21:42The Red List website provides authoritative information on about 60,000 wild species...

21:49...information that has been collected by scientists all over the world.

21:54You can search for species by the scientific name or the common name on the Red List website.

22:00So I'm going to search for the Indian rhino.

22:11The page for the Indian rhino on the Red List website gives you a wealth of information for the species.

22:16It gives you information on the Red List status; you can it's vulnerable.

22:20It gives you information on its assessment, its distribution...

22:24...its population, its preferred habitat, and all threats it's exposed to.

22:31A species distribution map is an important component of the Red List assessment process.

22:37This application built on 10.1 brings together six global biodiversity datasets.

22:44Each map gives you an interesting story on species.

22:50Here you can see the range of the Indian rhino; it's highly fragmented...

22:54...because habitat loss is one of the biggest threats to the species.

22:59You can see some beautiful pictures from ARKive.

23:04ARKive is an organization based in the UK.

23:11You can see some observations sourced from citizen science data.

23:16Here you can see pictures of the Indian rhino taken in the Kaziranga National Park in India.

23:29You can also see protected area boundaries overlaid with species range.

23:42This is very important, as 70 percent of the rhino population actually resides in protected areas.

23:48So this is a very species-specific site.

23:52Many of our users, in fact, most of our users really wanted to identify species in their area of interest.

23:58Find Species Near Me is an application which allows users to find species by location.

24:11You can search by location, for example, San Diego.

24:19It gives you a list of species, about 623 species found in this area.

24:25A look at the species tree will give you a list of species by its Red List category.

24:29You can see there are about seven endangered species...

24:33...one bird, a few mammals, and some other taxonomic groups.

24:36You also see there's a critically endangered species found here, which you all probably are familiar with.

24:42It's the California condor.

24:46The red on the map shows where the species is likely to be extirpated.

24:51You can also get the same results by drawing a point, line, or polygon.

24:58For example, if you were going to build a road here...

25:00...you would want to know the species that you're likely to impact.

25:05So it gives you a list of, again, 642 species.

25:09You can also search for species by protected areas.

25:12For example, if you were visiting a national park, you'd want to know what species were there.

25:16You could also select species by country if you wanted to know...

25:19...which threatened species occur in that country.

25:23So our scientists...we work with a group of scientists who come from all over the world.

25:28They're a very diverse group.

25:30They're often very busy people and lack the GIS skills necessary to give us distribution information.

25:37We built this application called the Species Map Editor, which has easy-to-use tools...

25:44...by which they can go online and provide us the species distribution.

25:49For example, this lemur based in Madagascar.

25:53If I was a scientist, I wanted to edit this species map, I could edit an existing species...

25:59...provide attribute information, and actually draw online.

26:05You could also use the species' preferred elevation to inform the species range, for example.

26:14You can then use drawing tools to draw species ranges online.

26:24You can edit the data online.

26:26Very easy-to-use tools here.

26:29Geoprocessing operations running in the background help maintain the integrity of the coastline.

26:37The species range map can now be published and sent off for peer review.

26:42The application also allows our scientists to map species through catchments...

26:47...which is the preferred protocol for mapping freshwater species, for example, these mollusks.

26:54You can see some catchments here; you can add required information about the species...

27:01...for example, whether it's reintroduced.

27:03Go to the next step, and you can select basins by point, polygon, or extent.

27:18The species map can now be printed and published and sent for peer review.

27:26So all this data on the Red List is available for noncommercial use freely.

27:32Users can go and search for data on the Red List website...

27:35...or they can actually go onto ArcGIS Online, where all this data is referenced.

27:40You can, once again, search for a common name or a scientific name...

27:45...you can search for the bison, you can get information on the metadata for the species...

28:01...and you can directly link to the Red List website where this data can be downloaded.

28:09Users, of course, need to register to download this data.

28:12As GIS professionals, I invite you to explore this very incredible resource...

28:16...utilize and download it, and utilize it in your daily decision-making process.

28:21At the end, I just want to take the opportunity to thank the team...

28:24...the applications prototype team at Esri, who've been supporting us in the last three months...

28:31...in particular, Hugh Keegan, John Grayson, and Mark Smith.

28:36A big, huge thank-you for them for helping us with all this work.

28:40Thank you, over to you, Julia.

28:42Thank you.

28:48Thank you, Vineet.

28:49If you think about it, the IUCN Red List has been going on for nearly 60 years...

28:54...and we certainly have changed with this amazing technology.

28:58And I'm sure that this sort of information will result in biodiversity information...

29:04...becoming a part, a regular part of the decision-making process.

29:09That's where we all have to get to, and soon.

29:12So ladies and gentlemen, the IUCN Red List must not be seen as the end of the line for species.

29:19It must mark a beginning of a new chapter in the story of conservation success.

29:25That's why IUCN launched the SOS, or the Save Our Species, initiative in 2010...

29:33...together with the World Bank and other partners, including the private sector.

29:38SOS has already helped conserve close to 100 species in over 30 countries.

29:46But we need your support, whether as a GIS professional, a scientist, a conservation volunteer...

29:54...or a concerned citizen willing to advocate...

29:58...for better and more inclusive consideration of biodiversity in decision making.

30:06We must invest in broader and deeper knowledge, make it more accessible to a wider audience...

30:13...and more applicable to a greater range of human activity.

30:18And we had great demonstrations about how that can be done this morning and this afternoon.

30:23So it's these latter two investments where GIS can play a critical role...

30:29...not only to organize and visualize the data but also to allow data on the Red List...

30:37...species to be incorporated into the geodesign decision-making framework.

30:44It's really a dream come true for me to be able to meet this amazing GIS community.

30:50You are the unique group of people most capable of understanding the value of GIS...

30:57...and what it brings to addressing the fate of the richness of life on our planet.

31:03I'm absolutely convinced that by joining forces between GIS geniuses such as yourselves...

31:10...and committed IUCN scientists, we can make a real difference.

31:18So, let us agree to focus on the present and the future and not look back on the demise of Lonesome George...

31:28...that is, except as a cautionary tale of what happens when human intellect...

31:35...and good intentions are not backed by advanced technology.

31:41That's why this Esri conference is so important.

31:45It provides a unique opportunity to bring our shared passions for nature...

31:50...together with your technological expertise to achieve great results.

31:57I'd like to invite all of you to come to the IUCN World Conservation Congress...

32:03...which will be held in early September in the beautiful South Korean island of Jeju.

32:09The congress, which takes place every four years, is the premiere global gathering...

32:15...to address the world's biggest conservation challenges.

32:19If we could have some of this technological explanations at our congress...

32:24...it would even be a greater event.

32:29So I close by reminding you that there is always hope.

32:34I'm sure none of you would be here if you didn't believe that.

32:38On the sad day that Lonesome George left us, we received some wonderful news...

32:45...from the Way Kambas Sanctuary in Indonesia...

32:49...where the third-ever Sumatran rhino was born in captivity.

32:54So here's a photo of four-day-old Andatu...

32:59...which means "the gift of god" in Bahasa Indonesia, with his mother, Ratu.

33:06The Sumatran rhino is very close to extinction...

33:11...and we in IUCN have made it our top priority for saving.

33:19In fact, we met with the president of Indonesia just last month...

33:22...to discuss the rhino crisis with him, and as a result of that meeting...

33:27...he has declared this year the international year of the rhino.

33:32Of course, we need a lot more than just big declarations.

33:35We all need to pull up our sleeves and make sure that Andatu will have...

33:39...lots of brothers, sisters, and cousins.

33:43So let's resolve among ourselves that the Sumatran rhino should never go...

33:48...the way of Lonesome George.

33:51IUCN will keep on this mission, and I hope you will join us.

33:56Thank you very much for your attention, and thank you, Jack, for this amazing opportunity.

34:00Thank you! Whoa, beautiful!

34:04Thank you.

34:05Thank you, Julia.

34:06Thank you very much.

34:07Thank you.

34:11Sorry about my voice, but I've...

34:13You're losing your voice.

34:14I lost it totally last week, and just because I wanted to be here, I willed it to come back. Beautiful.

34:19Thank you, thank you for doing that.

34:21It was absolutely important.

34:22[Unintelligible]...It was good.

34:27Pretty amazing woman, isn't she?

34:29I have a pretty amazing job. Thank you. You're an amazing person, too.

34:34Anyway. What do you think this group could do to help you, by the way?

34:39Thank you for asking, what a dream, another dream. Not only to be with you, but you asked.

34:43Well, I told you about our ambition to increase the knowledge...

34:47...about the status of species from the 62,000 that we have now to 160,000...

34:54...in just five years, and we've made a very careful budget that would cost 60 million dollars.

35:00I'm sure you don't have that quite in your pocket.

35:02Let's see here... Not really.

35:03But help us raise that money; it's not so much when you divide it by...

35:06...the number of species that we would be assessing.

35:10But we could take a first good step, and 3.5 million dollars would really help us...

35:16...upgrade, with your help, upgrade the technology so that the data is easily accessible...

35:22...and in the hands of decision makers who've got to make those wise decisions.

35:27And of course, the other thing, it's not only about money, but unfortunately...

35:30...we all do need some of that.

35:32The other thing is that, if the GIS community sitting in this room, and your friends...

35:42...to one of those species specialist groups, from the African elephant to the bumblebee...

35:51...you could adopt a specialist group and join forces so that the scientific expertise...

35:57...joins hands with your technological expertise.

36:00That would be another great way to help.

36:02This is kind of like adopting a teacher.

36:04Adopting a teacher, adopting...

36:05Adopting a species.

36:06Adopting a species.

36:07And you have this organized into groups already?

36:10We've got over 100 groups, really from all the species you can imagine.

36:15Again, all the species you see in these pictures here have a specialist group of committed scientists...

36:21...and if they had next to them committed, passionate...

36:25...and technically amazing GIS people, the result would be great.

36:30Amazing.

36:31Amazing.

36:33Well, come and...great.

36:35And of course, I mean, I think...you know, if you're interested in faster action, join us...

36:40...as a partner in that SOS initiative, Save Our Species.

36:44That's really working on specific species.

36:46We're investing in saving these, and we've done quite well already in a very short time.

36:50So there are lots of ways, but just the fact that we're talking to each other is already a great help.

36:55And thank you to Esri for all the help you've already given us.

36:59We do a small thing compared to you.

37:02You don't know Julia; she spends half of her life on airplanes.

37:06You know, she speaks quietly and nicely.

37:09She works her ass off, actually, all the time.

37:12Trying to convince people to do the right thing.

37:14Yeah, and she's going to be available for you guys to meet...

37:18...and sign some of her publications tonight in the Sails, the Sail area.

37:22I think you have an exhibit there.

37:23We do have an exhibit.

37:24So you'll get a chance to meet.

37:26Great, thank you all.

37:27And volunteer?

37:28And get some volunteers.

37:29Do you have this organized into groups?

37:30I've got it organized into groups.

37:31Oh, I see.

37:33We'd love to have you. Thank you.

37:34Okay, Julia, thank you so much.

37:35Thank you very much.

37:36Thank you for this great...thank you.

37:37Thank you all.

37:38Good night.

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Keynote: International Union for Conservation of Nature

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, discusses an important project that uses GIS to document plant and animal species threatened by extinction.

  • Recorded: Jul 23rd, 2012
  • Runtime: 37:49
  • Views: 182
  • Published: Aug 31st, 2012
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