The Challenge: This year focuses on the biodiversity crisis, and the broader human and ecological impacts of the loss of biodiversity.
Background: Are we really on the brink of a great extinction like the so called Big Five mass extinctions that occurred in the last 500 million years? Extinction has occurred throughout the history of life, and episodically, large fractions of biodiversity have disappeared. We are now able to crudely inventory earth’s beautiful scene biodiversity and it is clear that over the past few hundred years, human activities are often the cause of extinction, but not always. At the same time we have become keenly aware of the fragility of many of our ecosystems and human impact on them. We as a species need a plan for the future.