Systematic Biology

IMMEDIATE

THURSDAY 9 MAY 2002

ADVANCE NOTICE

A DECADE AFTER THE EARTH SUMMIT, LORDS REPORT ASKS IS THE SCIENCE UNDERPINNING CONSERVATION IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION?

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY & REPORT LAUNCH AT LONDON ZOO

A House of Lords report, What on Earth? The threat to the science underpinning conservation, will be launched on 16 May at The Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

The Science and Technology Committee set up an inquiry because of wide- spread concern that a decline in systematic biology ƒ{ the science of identifying species and the links between them ƒ{ could be a barrier to the UK meeting its global biodiversity commitments.

A photo opportunity and interviews are set to take place at London Zoo.

Time: 10 am

Date: Thursday 16 May

Location: Web of Life, London Zoo ƒ{ entrance via East Service Gate, Outer Circle, Regent¦s Park.

Nearest tube: Camden Town (Northern Line). Parking: In main visitor car park, Outer Circle, Regent¦s Park.

The Chairman of this inquiry, Baroness Walmsley, will briefly introduce the report and highlight its key recommendations. Afterwards she will be available for photographs alongside a variety of animals, and later for interviews. The Director of Science for ZSL, Professor Georgina Mace, will also be available for comment.

The report focuses on work done at the Natural History Museum and the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and at Kew. This report is particularly timely as the Prime Minister is leading a delegation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg this summer. The Summit will focus on how best to balance conservation with economic and social development.

Further information from:

Rebecca Neal, Clerk of the Committee, on 020 7219 5750

Jillian Bailey, Committee Press and Information Officer on 020 7219 8659

[ENDS]