Biodiversity or biological diversity covers a spectrum from the diversity of biological compounds through to large scale ecosystems and the diversity of all life on Earth. Paul Oldham and Oscar Forero work on biodiversity through a combination of:
- Fieldwork based projects in Latin America (notably the Amazon and the Andes). We mainly work directly with indigenous peoples organisations and communities on projects focusing on participatory research and mapping.
- Participation in the work of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. In particular our work has focused on the development of the International Regime on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing and traditional knowledge.
Our work on biodiversity is developing in four main directions:
- As part of the we are extending the use of electronic taxonomic biodiversity data from the Catalogue of Life, Encyclopedia of Life and GBIF to the socio-economic uses of biodiversity. This will enhance understanding of the range of uses of biodiversity and allow policy-makers and others to track and monitor biodiversity across the web;
- We are interested in the potential of web mapping tools such as Issue Crawler and Gephi to enhance our ability to visualise biodiversity on the web. We are piloting web crawls for species such as hoodia as a basis for a larger scale web mapping exercise;
- Using the EPO World Patent Statistical Database (PATSTAT) under the intellectual property project, we are developing analysis of global trends in patent data for biodiversity;
- Oscar Forero's work is increasingly focusing on agricultural biodiversity and food security with the aim of developing this research field with partners in Peru and linking across to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Plant Treaty).
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