Taiwan Endemic Species Research Institute

Contact Information
1 Ming-shen East Road
Chichi Township
Nantou County
Biological diversity is the keystone of human survival. Healthy biodiversity is critical for our future existence and wellbeing. Since the signing of the Convention on Biological Diversity on June, 1992 by world leaders at the United Nations ‘World Summit' (the Conference on Environment and Development) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the conservation of biological diversity has become a key global issue. During a speech on biodiversity entitled ‘The Living World: Key to Sustainability' at the Academia Sinica, Taipei on May 28, 2000, former Clinton administration presidential advisor on science and technology Dr. Peter H. Raven said that, over the past 50 years, with the addition of about 3.5 billion people, the human population has more than doubled to reach over 6 billion, causing the loss of a quarter of total available topsoil, the loss of one-fifth of agricultural land, and the destruction of one-third of forests. Worst of all, humans have driven the rate of biological extinction, the permanent loss of species, up several times beyond its historical levels so that we are losing 1,000 species each year, or 500 to 1,000 times more than were lost previously, and are threatened with the loss or near extinction of one-third of all species by the year 2050. Some ecologists are even saying that our overuse of the planet's resources is endangering all life on earth, leading us to the brink of the sixth mass extinction. These frightening predictions should serve to awaken us to the importance of global biological diversity and to the need to conserve and utilize resources sustainably.