The 19th Annual Meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology just finished up yesterday in Brasilia, covering a variety of particulars under the general theme of "Conservation Biology Capacity Building & Practice in a Globalized World." As might be expected from a title like that, there were representatives from over 70 countries, all looking to figure out ways to reduce or halt the course of loss of biodiversity.
Nature sent its Washington correspondent, Emma Marris, to Brasilia to cover the event. She did so in part as a blog, one that makes for quite interesting reading. Her posts highlight the struggle in the field to figure out proper metrics, solid definitions, and the relationship between development and conservation. There's also the relationship between conservation and, for lack of a better phrase, framing:
One of the challenges in assessing impacts, however, is that the experts always overestimate the effect of changes on species. "There is a general tendency in conservation biology to paint things very black," says Robert Scholes of CSIR Environmentek in Pretoria South Africa. Sure. If they want anybody to pay any attention or, say, give them some money, they have to portray the situation as dire. Marketing, marketing.