Maintaining healthy, functioning ecosystems in the Anthropocene is becoming increasingly difficult due to the massive challenges presented by the combination of habitat loss and degradation and climate change. We are potentially facing a sixth global mass extinction crisis.
The tropical forests of the Asia-Pacific are one of the most significant biodiversity hotspots in the world and are facing a range of rapidly increasing threats including global climate change, deforestation, poaching and fragmentation.
It is essential that we integrate cutting-edge biodiversity science, long-term environmental monitoring and ecological training in order to build the necessary knowledge and capacity within our research and environmental management/policy sectors. This will enable informed decisions aimed at preserving our natural ecosystems and the services that they provide humanity.
I will discuss the contributions that my research group and collaborations has made to dealing with this difficult challenge by increasing our understanding of biodiversity and global change biology in Australia. I will also discuss potential future strategies and options that might help us to maximise the resilience of the amazing biodiversity of the Asia-Pacific region over the coming decades.