New Biodiversity Center to Analyze the Social and Economic Conditions that Promote Bushmeat Hunting.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Reuters), Wednesday, May 26, 8:25 PM ET

New Center To Fight For Biodiversity

A new center that will fight for biodiversity and take action to save endangered environments opened in Washington Wednesday.

Experts at the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, based at the headquarters of Conservation International, will study the reasons that environments are destroyed, with the aim of identifying those most at risk in time to save them.

"The rapid and irreversible loss of the Earth's living resources is today's most serious environmental challenge," Intel Corporation chairman Gordon Moore, who created the center with a $35 million grant, said in a statement.

"The center will assure that the world's best minds are mobilized to find solutions that can be applied broadly and rapidly to preserve the richness of life on our planet."

Peter Seligmann, chairman and chief executive officer of Conservation International, said the idea was to not just come up with ideas, but to find ways to put them to practical use.

"The center will serve as an early warning system by forecasting impending biodiversity crises," Seligmann said.

Some of the tasks will include identifying what financial crises around the world have in common and understanding the history and development of certain commodities and how they will affect biodiversity.

The center will also analyze the social and economic conditions that promote such practices as bush meat hunting -- in which monkeys and chimpanzees are killed for their meat.

"Creation of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science could be the decisive move in whether we make it through the next century with ecozystems that can provide the basis for a healthy and prosperous future," Edward O. Wilson, a biologist and writer who will chair the new center, said.

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