This synthesis focuses on estimates of biodiversity change as projected for the 21st century by models or
extrapolations based on experiments and observed trends. The term biodiversity is used in a broad
sense as it is defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity to mean the abundance and distributions
of and interactions between genotypes, species, communities, ecosystems and biomes. This synthesis
pays particular attention to the interactions between biodiversity and ecosystem services and to
critical tipping points that could lead to large, rapid and potentially irreversible changes. Comparisons
between models are used to estimate the range of projections and to identify sources of uncertainty.
Experiments and observed trends are used to check the plausibility of these projections. In addition
we have identified possible actions at the local, national and international levels that can be taken to
conserve biodiversity. We have called on a wide range of scientists to participate in this synthesis, with
the objective to provide decision makers with messages that reflect the consensus of the scientific community
and that will aid in the development of policy and management strategies that are ambitious,
forward looking and proactive.
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