Biodiversity and Human Health

    Arctic biodiversity and Inuit health

    C. Knotsch, J. Lamouche. National Aboriginal Health Organization, March 2010. This report summarizes the many changes Inuit have reported as impacting biodiversity, such as the appearance of insects formerly not seen, and at the same time examines how local knowledge is crucial to adapting to changes in biodiversity. Finally, it discusses the connection between biodiversity and Inuit health and why changes in Arctic biodiversity will mean changes to human life in the Arctic. (PDF, 7 MB)

    Arctic biodiversity trends 2010: Selected indicators of change

    Report by CAFF International Secretariat, Akureyri, Iceland, May 2010. In 2008, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) passed a resolution expressing "extreme concern" over the impacts of climate change on Arctic indigenous peoples, other communities, and biodiversity. It highlighted the potentially significant consequences of changes in the Arctic. Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010: Selected Indicators of Change provides evidence that some of those anticipated impacts on Arctic biodiversity are already occurring. (PDF, 18.6 MB)

    Biodiversity and human health

    F. Grifo, J. Rosenthal (eds.), Island Press, 1997. This book brings together leading thinkers on the global environment and biomedicine to explore the human health consequences of the loss of biological diversity. Based on a two-day conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution, the book opens a dialogue among experts from the fields of public health, biology, epidemiology, botany, ecology, demography, and pharmacology on this vital but often neglected concern.

    Biodiversity change and human health: From ecosystem services to spread of disease

    O.E. Sala, L.A. Meyerson, C. Parmesan (eds.), SCOPE, 2009. Biodiversity loss may result in compromised ecosystem functions, which, in turn, may negatively influence human health, both directly and indirectly. In this book, the authors review four general human health functions of ecosystems, highlighting the urgent need for more detailed and comprehensive research on the human health consequences of biodiversity loss.

    Biodiversity loss threatens human well-being

    S. Diaz et al. PLoS Biology (2006) 4(8):doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0040277. The authors provide a synthesis of the most crucial messages emerging from the latest scientific literature and international assessments of the role of biodiversity in ecosystem services and human well-being.

    Biodiversity, climate change, and ecosystem services

    H. Mooney. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability (2009) 1(1):46-54. Stresses imposed by climate change in the coming years will require extraordinary adaptation. We need to track the changing status of ecosystems, deepen our understanding of the biological underpinnings for ecosystem service delivery, and develop new tools and techniques for maintaining and restoring resilient biological and social systems.

    Biodiversity: Frozen futures

    M. Hopkin, Nature News, March 26, 2008. Conserving crop biodiversity is an urgent undertaking. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that 25-30% of plant species will be extinct or endangered in the next century. The 'Doomsday vault' buried in the Arctic ice will provide a backup for the world's seeds, but more needs to be done to safeguard food diversity.

    Climate change as a threat to biodiversity: An application of the DPSIR approach

    I. Omann et al. Ecological Economics (2009) 69(1):24-31. Based on an analysis using the DPSIR framework, this paper discusses some of the important socioeconomic driving forces of climate change, with a focus on energy use and transportation. The paper also analyzes observed and potential changes of climate and the pressures they exert on biodiversity, the changes in biodiversity, the resulting impacts on ecosystem functions, and possible policy responses.

    Ecosystems and global climate change: A review of potential impacts on U.S. terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    Report prepared for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, December 2000. This is the fifth in a series of Pew Center reports examining the potential impacts of climate change on the U.S. environment. It details the very real possibility that warming over this century will jeopardize the integrity of many of the terrestrial ecosystems on which we depend. (PDF, 728 KB)

    Implications of climate change for northern Canada: Freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems

    T.D. Prowse et al. Ambio (2009) 38(5):282-289. As the climate continues to change, there will be consequences for biodiversity shifts and for the ranges and distribution of many species with resulting effects on availability, accessibility, and quality of resources upon which human populations rely. This will have implications for the protection and management of wildlife, fish, and fisheries resources; protected areas; and forests.

    Indigenous peoples and traditional knowledge related to biological diversity and responses to climate change in the Arctic region

    Brochure published by Ministry of the Environment of Finland, 2009. While the results of scientific studies on the impacts of climate change on Arctic species and ecosystems are useful, they present only one snapshot of a vast and complex system. Indigenous and traditional knowledge from the Arctic region reveals another view of life and lifestyles under threat. (PDF, 1.36 MB)

    Invasive species, environmental change and management, and health

    P. Pyšek, D.M. Richardson. Annual Review of Environment and Resources (2010) 35:25-55. This review deals with invasive species as a component of global change and focuses on issues dealing with introduced species that increasingly demand management intervention.

    Sacred cows and sympathetic squirrels: The importance of biological diversity to human health

    A. Dobson et al. PLoS Medicine (2006) 3(6):doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030231. In a world where climate change may allow vector-transmitted diseases to spread from the tropics into the temperate zone, it may be sensible to conserve biological diversity for the purely selfish reasons of protecting human health.

    Too hot to heal

    D.R. Downton, Alive.com, January 2010. Traditional healing skills are on the wane because many of the plants on which they're based are now extinct or endangered. In the fragile ecosystems of cold climates, such as those in the Andes and the Himalayas and in the circumpolar north, the biggest stressor is warming.

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