Arizona State University to host citizen participation forum on biodiversity

On Sept. 15, Arizona State University will be home to a daylong, international event that connects thousands of everyday citizens in 25 countries in the discussion of environmental issues.

Organized by the Danish Board of Technology and hosted in Tempe by the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at ASU (CSPO), the World Wide Views on Biodiversity (WWViews) event offer participants the opportunity to learn about biodiversity issues, discuss policy choices and express their views.

One hundred Arizona citizens have been chosen to match and represent the diverse makeup of the state, an activity repeated by contemporaries in Massachusetts, Colorado and the District of Columbia. These 400 individuals will offer views that represent, as a whole, the average citizen in the United States.

At each of the 34 locations, the invited participants will examine and discuss different policy options that might impact the loss and protection of global biological diversity. The events will take place in Africa (Cameroon, DR Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia), North America (Canada and USA), South America and the Caribbean (Brazil, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines), Europe (Denmark, France and Germany) and Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Nepal, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, and Vietnam).

All of the daylong events will be staged exactly in the same way, following a format prepared by the Danish Board of Technology. In addition to the Tempe site, CSPO also will co-host both the Arizona effort and the WWViews project in Washington, D.C.

Designed to provide policymakers with the most accurate information about citizens’ views on globally relevant environmental issues, the results from WWViews will be presented to the delegates of the Convention on Biological Diversity at the Conference of Contracting Parties (COP11) meeting in Hyderabad, India. The goal of WWViews is to increase the representation of citizens from the five continents to international negotiations being undertaken by policy makers, scientific experts, nongovernment organizations and industry leaders.

Biodiversity is a term that refers to the biological diversity of life on Earth and includes the interactions of creatures and organisms, including humans, with the environment. The loss of biodiversity is closely linked to human activity, such as agriculture, new infrastructure and mining, which can impact concerns such as food security and air and water purity.

In addition to this year’s WWViews on Biodiversity, CSPO previously hosted WWViews on Global Warming in 2009.

For more on World Wide Views visit: www.wwviews.org

For more on the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes at Arizona State University, visit: http://www.CSPO.org.
Jennifer Jaeckels, jennifer.jaeckels@asu.edu
480-965-0555
Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes

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