Local knowledge the key to global solutions in new book 

South East Asian Biodiversity in Crisis, co-authored Professor Barry Brook and Associate Professor Navjot Sodhi

A new book highlighting the vulnerability of endemic species in South East Asia has been launched today by the Charles Darwin University (CDU) Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Garnett as part of a Symposium on environmental issues.

South East Asian Biodiversity in Crisis, published by Cambridge University Press, is co-authored by award-winning CDU researcher Professor Barry Brook and Associate Professor Navjot Sodhi, an internationally-recognised authority on tropical ecology and bird biology, from the National University of Singapore.

The book looks at the effects of rainforest loss and other environmental factors which have resulted in the dramatic decline in populations of animals and plants specific to the South East Asian region.

“There are major human impacts in South East Asia which are having and will continue to have a profound impact on the region’s tropical environments and biodiversity,” Associate Professor Navjot Sodhi said.

“Given that we may be facing the extinction of millions of species within the present century, effective conservation mandates broad-scale recognition of the immensity of this problem. This is the key goal of the book,” Professor Brook said.

A major recommendation of the book is that conservation will work best by including the needs and motivations of local people who are on-ground and therefore impacted directly by loss of ecosystem services.

“This is a pervasive message that ties in strongly to the motivation of CDU's work on sustainable livelihoods, which has been on show this week at the successful Symposium: Preparing for Impact,” CDU Vice Chancellor, Helen Garnett said.

The Symposium continues this afternoon (Friday 12 May) in the Mal Nairn Auditorium at Charles Darwin University. Copies of presentations can be viewed on the Symposium website.