Koerner Lecture to examine conservation of wild biodiversity via biodiversity development

Koerner lecture
Koerner lecture

A free public lecture hosted by the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) will feature superstar of Costa Rica conservation Daniel Janzen, who will deliver a talk titled “Conservation of tropical wild biodiversity via biodiversity development: a Costa Rican example.”

The talk is the fourth annual Koerner Lecture Series in Neotropical Conservation, and it takes place on Friday, March 31, from 2:30 to 3:30pm, in Room 101 of the Life Sciences Building.

Janzen, the DiMaura Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Pennsylvania and technical advisor to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) in northwestern Costa Rica, will look at where classical tropical national parks are gradually failing in many ways.

He will discuss the 165,000-hectare government/private hybrid ACG’s practical approach to tropical wild biodiversity conservation with 35 years of success. Its basic principals contend conservation must be site-based and respond to the biological, social and economic reality of the region.

Decisions must be taken at the regional level, the wilderness area must be visualized as a productive sector for the economy of the region and the country, and that quality conservation must be economically sustainable over time. ACG is testing and proving that biodiversity development is a viable way forward to protect vulnerable species and help local communities thrive, with ecotourism, biodiversity prospecting for medicine, carbon sequestration and more.

Light refreshments will be available before and after the lecture (1:30 to 2:30pm and 3:30 to 4:30pm).

About Daniel Janzen

Daniel Janzen (image: Penn Arts & Sciences)

A tropical ecologist and biodiversity conservationist with over 60 years of field experience and 466 scientific papers, Janzen is a world-level authority on the taxonomy and biology of tropical caterpillars; a member of the U.S. and the Costa Rican National Academy of Sciences; and recipient of the Crafoord Prize (1984), the Kyoto Prize (1997), BBVA Prize (2012) and Blue Planet Prize (2014).

Janzen and his biologist wife, Dr. Winnie Hallwachs, are co-architects and co-constructors, along with hundreds of others, of ACG and of Costa Rica’s INBio (Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad), and of Costa Rica’s Iniciativa Paz con la Naturaleza (IPN) (2006-10), which morphed into the present-day NGO Costa Rica Forever. He is president of the Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund (GDFCF), the U.S.-based NGO for ACG.

Together, Janzen and Hallwachs are currently focused on facilitating the CBOL (Consortium for the Barcode of Life) and iBOL (International Barcode of Life) efforts to DNA barcode all species of the world for their identification and species discovery by anyone, anywhere, at any time; and simultaneously, on facilitating Costa Rica’s willingness to permanently conserve the 4 per cent of the world’s biodiversity that lives on 25 per cent of Costa Rican national terrain and sea, and do it as a global example of sustainable, non-damaging use of tropical wildland biodiversity.

About the Koerner Lecture Series

Funded by the Koerner Foundation, the Koerner Lecture Series in Neotropical Conservation aims to promote and raise awareness of the Las Nubes Project, which is overseen by Professor Felipe Montoya-Greenheck, Chair of Neotropical Conservation and Director of the Las Nubes Project in Costa Rica. Las Nubes (“The Clouds”) is the home of York’s EcoCampus, a rainforest in Costa Rica that has generously been donated to York University by Dr. Woody Fisher, a prominent Toronto physician, medical researcher and co-founder of the Canadian Liver Foundation.