UXBRIDGE, Canada, Aug 25 (IPS)
Save the living environment and the physical environment will automatically be saved, according to E.O. Wilson, the world’s leading biologist and father of the online Encyclopedia of Life, which plans to create a web page for every known species – all 1.8-plus million.
Climate and water are parts of the physical environment that rely on the living environment – trees, insects, animals – to keep them clean, healthy and in balance.
But that fundamental reality is not well understood by the public and little progress has been made in preventing the destruction of ecosystems and species, Wilson recently told the New Scientist magazine. That’s why Wilson came up with the idea in 2003 to create a publicly accessible, interactive Encyclopedia of Life (EOL).
Launched in 2008, the EOL is growing quickly with 170,000 entries, over 30,000 still images and video – with some provided by members of the public.
“We want to engage the public. With the EOL they can survey the species in their yard and neighbourhoods and report what they find,” said James Edwards, EOL’s executive director based at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
“We’d love to see everyone become a ‘field biologist’ and submit what they’ve found,” he said.
Societal understanding and support is crucial to slow and reverse the loss of ecosystems and species, Edwards told IPS.
“If we can’t do that, we all will be in deep trouble,” he said.