The World Resources Institute (WRI) and other leading international environmental organisations today launched the Ecosystem Services Experts Directory, a public online directory that allows journalists, business leaders, and governments to locate and contact specialists in ecosystem services.
"Businesses realize that they face material risks and opportunities related to ecosystem degradation," said Craig Hanson, director of the People and Ecosystems Program at the World Resources Institute.
"Now, for the first time, policy makers and companies have a single place where they can quickly find people who can help them make informed decisions about the environment," added Nigel Winser, Executive Vice-President of Earthwatch.
The free, easy-to-use directory enables users to search for country-specific experts in a wide range of ecosystem disciplines. It includes hundreds of expert profiles from environmental organisations around the world, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Ecological Society of America, and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment's Sub-Global Working Groups.
"With this resource, a policy-maker in Mexico, for example, can contact local natural resource economists to assess the value of a nature reserve," said James Griffiths, managing director of Ecosystems, Water and Sustainable Forest Products Industry at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. "Likewise, an agriculture company in India can find water, biodiversity, and agriculture experts to learn about the immediate ecological challenges facing its products."
"The directory provides an opportunity for experts to share their work and improves scientific communication to decision makers," said Enrique Lahmann of IUCN.
The Ecosystem Services Experts Directory is a joint venture between WRI, IUCN, WBCSD, and the Earthwatch Institute.
- The World Resources Institute is an environmental think tank that goes beyond research to find practical ways to protect the earth and improve people's lives.
- Earthwatch Institute is an international environmental charity that engages people worldwide in scientific field research and education to promote the understanding and action necessary for a sustainable environment.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world's oldest and largest global environmental network. IUCN helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.
- The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a CEO-led, global association of some 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development.
- The Ecological Society of America is a nonpartisan, non-profit organisation of scientists founded in 1915.