I had to post my review of Anne Magurran’s ‘Measuring Biological Diversity’ and hope it adds value to understanding and rolling out strategic objectives for Te Arawa Biological Diversity. I found the book highlighted many concepts and good reasons to conserve our biological diversity. It also helped to quantify and interpret patterns of ecological and biological diversity, focusing on the measurement and estimation of species richness and abundance. So it is an outstanding introduction for anyone concerned in looking at analyzing and interpreting data on the diversity of species in their natural biological habitats, marine as well as terrestrial. It is well written, clear and concise for a student like myself as well as for the professionals and specialized amateurs.

Before you go out and buy this quality book you have to have a little background knowledge about ecology to make good use of the concepts in the book. It has a significant number of concepts and a lot of statistical and numerical formulas to calculate dissimilar types of diversity. It is mainly for ecology of plants and animals, but potentially you can modify some of the concepts to include microbial ecology. To make this easier Anne Magurran has included a number of worked examples of the key methods to help readers to understand the techniques.

To sum up this is really a great starter and there is a wealth of information coming from Anne Magurran as a renown world scientist and a leader in this field. She has written other material so if you want to know more follow this link. Enjoy.


Date:  29 January 2011
Source:  Offices of the Minister of Conservation and the Minister for Environment

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson today called for public input into a proposed National Policy Statement on New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity announced at the Bluegreens Forum in Akaroa.

“Protecting biodiversity is one of the most difficult environmental issues New Zealand faces because we have so many unique species that evolved quite separately from the rest of the world,” Dr Smith said. “This policy is about providing greater guidance to councils on the balance that needs to be found in protecting our unique plant and bird life while respecting the reasonable rights of property owners to use and develop their land.

“This proposed National Policy Statement on biodiversity under the Resource Management Act sets out the Government’s expectations and guidance of how local councils will protect biodiversity on private land. It also delivers on National’s 2008 election promise and commitment to the Maori Party. It recognises rare and threatened species are not just found in national parks, but rare and threatened habitats, such as wetlands and lowland native forests, and occur on private land throughout the country.

“This proposed National Policy Statement is part of a wider agenda of providing stronger national leadership and guidance on environmental issues.”

Ms Wilkinson said New Zealand’s indigenous biodiversity was not only vital to our environment, but also to our agricultural, horticultural and tourism industries.

“Many of our native plants and animals are found only in New Zealand. Once a species is gone, it is gone forever. This proposed Biodiversity NPS provides a flexible approach for councils, recognising that specific regions will have their own unique issues to address.”

“The Government is seeking submissions from landowners, councils, Maori, environmental groups and other New Zealanders by 2 May 2011 to ensure the final policy statement has balance and broad support.”

There are a number of environmental organisations and many individual eccentrics who go about saving the planet and are more than often accused as false soothsayers being all doom and gloom. If its not an area of rainforest in the South Americas being lost, it is melting ice caps and fear of rising sea levels.

Where do these messages of saving the planet come from? scholars may argue that indigenous first nation people from all corners of the globe tell of spiritual connections and living in harmony and if this state of harmony is broken chaos exists. If you can believe that then it is plausible that world leaders can secure hope and confidence that together we will can win.

Well government leaders have met for the tenth occasion this meeting held October 2010 in Japan to ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)since the Earth Summit held in Rio back in 1992. If you can think back then New Zealand played a role not only convincing New Zealand but other countries that the patient is dying and serious medical help is required. Oh and not forgetting that the United States of America has yet to align itself with countries who had set some realistic goals and objectives to reduce their legacy of industrial harm and other emissions on the patient.

But you got to feel for the 1980’s earth campaigners who have been dealt an empty hand as their aspirations of success in taking tangible steps through the introduction of the CBD in 1992. Adding salt to the wound on the 22nd September 2010 UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon warned government leaders “that the 2010 deadline for substantially reducing the rate of biodiversity loss would not be met”.

Hindsight has advantages and looking back governments who are party to the CBD took over a decade to decide on 2010 targets for biodiversity conservation, with agreement finally being reached in 2002. They even set up initiatives like a clock “Countdown 2010” to encourage the biodiversity conservation targets into reality. They is an operative word that I must insert here they forget to mention “try”. They listed 13 “milestones” over the last decade and government leaders realised that their words and commitments were no nearer to halting a reversing biodiversity loss than they were ten years ago.

Where to from here back to the drawing board I hope not if change is to occur it has to start with communities made of real people who do care.


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