Green tree ants.

Green tree ants.

DIVERSITAS: an integrative approach to biodiversity science

DIVERSITAS links biology, ecology and social sciences, to develop socially relevant knowledge that supports sustainable use of biodiversity and Australia’s DIVERSITAS coordinating group promotes biodiversity science and policy development in Australia.

  • 2 January 2008 | Updated 14 October 2011

Biodiversity underpins the life-support system of our planet.

Yet several factors, including human behaviour, have brought us to a critical point.

The world is experiencing an unprecedented rate of species extinction, which may have far-reaching consequences for all life forms.

Background

DIVERSITAS is a world-wide collaborative group that brings together expertise from biological, ecological and social sciences to answer key questions about biodiversity.

These include:

  • how much biodiversity exists?
  • how does a change or loss of biodiversity affect the system as a whole?
  • how does biodiversity connect to ecosystem functions and services, and what is the true value of these?
  • how can scientific investigation support policy and decision making to encourage more sustainable use of biodiversity?

With a broader, deeper knowledge of biodiversity, we will be better equipped to safeguard the future of Earth’s natural resources.

DIVERSITAS helps maximise the impact of initiatives undertaken around the world through its international framework for biodiversity science.

By establishing National Coordinating Groups and collaborating with other organisations, DIVERSITAS enlarges and strengthens scientific networks. 

This makes it easier to identify global research priorities, allocate resources, facilitate knowledge transfer, and support capacity building.

The world is experiencing an unprecedented rate of species extinction, which may have far-reaching consequences for all life forms.

The DIVERSITAS Science Plan highlights the need to:

  • synthesise existing scientific knowledge
  • identify gaps and emerging issues
  • promote new research initiatives
  • examine the policy implications of biodiversity science.

Ultimately, the goal is to provide government agencies and policy makers with the information required to make sound decisions on biodiversity issues.

Coordinating group

Australia’s DIVERSITAS coordinating group promotes biodiversity science and policy development in Australia.

Members of the group include:

  • Dr David K Yeates, CSIRO Entomology (Chair)
  • Dr Dan Faith, Principal Research Scientist, The Australian Museum
  • Dr Simon Ferrier, Principal GIS Research Officer, Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Mr Cameron Slatyer, Natural Heritage Assessment Section, Department of the Environment and Heritage
  • Professor Nigel Stork, CEO, Rainforest Cooperative Research Centre
  • Dr Steve Williams, Senior Research Fellow, James Cook University. 

The collaborative research network

Australia has an active biodiversity research sector, and a well-developed legislative and policy framework at both national and state levels.

This includes:

  • CSIRO
  • ARC network for Understanding and Managing Australian Biodiversity
  • Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC)
  • Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research.

Discover more about CSIRO's work in Biodiversity & Ecology.

Line drawing of Australia with DIVERSITAS text.

DIVERSITAS, an international program of biodiversity science.