The future of our planet is Africa — in terms of people, biodiversity, habitats that are crucial for genetic diversity in the face of climate change, and some of the richest tropical forest carbon stocks on Earth. But climate change and exploitation of natural resources threaten that future. Why have generations of efforts failed to conserve wonderlands such as the Congo Basin Rainforest? How can scientists help to create a better strategy? The Congo Basin Institute (www.cbi.ucla.edu) is leading a large new network and a new approach to multidisciplinary science and policy to address these urgent questions, which bear on everyone’s future.
About our speaker
Dr. Thomas Smith is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the founding director of the Center for Tropical Research and the Co-executive Director of the Congo Basin Institute. He is well known throughout the world for his pioneering research and conservation efforts, including the application of evolutionary principles in conservation biology, and has received more than a dozen academic awards and honors. His research primarily focuses on how biodiversity is generated and maintained in tropical rainforests, and how we can effectively prioritize and conserve critical regions of biodiversity.