As you may know, I am in Stockholm, Sweden this summer, working with colleagues at the Stockholm Resilience Center (SRC) where we are compiling a global assessment of urban biodiversity for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Here’s a blurb about the project:
Cities and Biodiversity Outlook
A Global Assessment of the Links between Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystems
The “Cities and Biodiversity Outlook” (CBO) will consist of a global assessment of the links between urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Combining science and policy, scientists from around the world will analyze how urbanization and urban growth impacts biodiversity and ecosystems, delivering key messages on the conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources to decision-makers. Cities, local authorities and sub-national governments will have the opportunity to showcase their practices on sustainability and biodiversity and learn from existing experiences how to incorporate those topics in their agendas and policies.
If you explore the links on the above page, you will find drafts of the CBO, to the latest version of which I made some contributions. If you are more televisually inclined, here’s Thomas Elmqvist, the Scientific Editor of the CBO (and my host here this summer), explaining what it is about:
The CBO will be officially launched on October 16, 2012, at a City Summit organized by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) during CBD’s 11th Conference of Parties (COP 11) meeting in Hyderabad, India. I will write more about that over the coming weeks, including information about some side events being planned to publicize the CBO.
As part of the goal to make the CBO an effective tool for communicating the significance and value of urban ecosystems for biodiversity, Maria Schewenius (also here at SRC) has been collating a list of 100 Facts About The Nature of Urbanization which will be part of the report. Seeing her list immediately made me think: twitter campaign! Maria and Thomas liked the idea, so we ran it up the UN flagpole (this being my first serious involvement in a UN scale effort, I’m learning about the opportunities and constraints for communicating science at this level), and we got the thumbs up a few days ago.
We are now preparing to launch the twitter campaign using the hashtag #BiodiverCity (which I was pleasantly surprised to find hitherto unused!) starting on Monday, Aug 6, 2012, which is 70 days before the launch of the CBO in Hyderabad. It would’ve been better to start tweeting 100-facts 100 days before the launch, of course, but I got in late on the act, so here we are with 70 days, which actually allows us to start with one tweet/day and ramp up the frequency as we approach the launch date. The complete list of 100 Facts will be available on the CBD’s CBO website (see links above) along with the rest of the report, and I will also storify the tweets, and any responses they generate.
So, dear reader, if you are interested in urban biodiversity, and are also a citizen of the twitterverse, here’s who you should keep your eye on:
- @CBO_assessment: a brand new twitter feed we’ve set up for the CBO.
- @CBDNews: the official twitter feed of the CBD.
- @URBESProject: from the affiliated URBES project which “aims at bridging the knowledge gap on urbanization processes, ecosystems, and biodiversity.”
- @sthlmresilience: SRC’s official twitter feed.
- @ICLEI_ResCities: ICLEI’s “global forum on urban resilience and adaptation”.
- @ICLEI: “ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability is a global membership association of around 1200 #locgovs committed to #sustainability.”
- @ICLEICBC: ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center, based in Africa.
- @ICLEIAfrica: The African regional office for ICLEI.
- @mschewenius: Maria, who is project coordinator for the CBO assessment at SRC.
- @leafwarbler: your’s truly!
- Here’s a handy list you can follow if you don’t want to follow all the separate accounts, and, of course, there is the #BiodiverCity hashtag.
It goes without saying, of course, but: Please RT!
[Updated on Aug 6 with several more twitter accounts added to the list.]