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SPECIAL SECTION BIOTROPICA 1 3 2010 10 1111 j 1744 7429 2010 00667 x COMMENTARY Hope for Tropical Biodiversity through True Bioliteracy Daniel H Janzen1 Department of Biology University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Pennsylvania 19104 6018 U S A ABSTRACT For tropical wild biodiversity to survive it must occupy a large terrain be permanently endowed and be integrated with its local national and international society Among other things integration will be enormously facilitated by giving bioilliterate humanity all seven billion of us the ability to read wild biodiversity anywhere any time for the personal cost of a pocket comb That is true universal bioliteracy DNA barcoding is the technology for this and a personal or an institutional decision to sustain its cheap cost will cut the Gordian knot Key words conservation DNA barcoding taxonomy IN CONTRAST WITH THE HOPE OF GETTING ANTHROPOGENIC CLIMATE CHANGE UNDER CONTROL or even dampening it there is still most decidedly an opportunity and hope for the conservation of tropical wild biodiversity at least that which still survives as viable populations A major cause for hope is that we do not have to try to save every bit of it nor even have an omnipresent as well as global solution in order to save a huge part of it Biodiversity does not flow like CO2 Stop trying to save all wild nature all the time everywhere Triage does have its place especially when we are both the enemy and the partner We have the luxury that by focusing on sociologically and ecologically workable lumps and by purchasing or otherwise securing them from the marketplace right now where they are there is still time for a major peace treaty with wild tropical nature Yes it will be flawed but it will be vastly better than the pale shadow of nature that clings to subsistence agroscapes industrial agroscapes and urban sprawl But wild nature is melting like a snowdrift in a March warm wind quickly turning into brown slush even if still cold We need to pick the low hanging fruits grow larger and more experienced at conserving cooking and eating them and later reach for the higher branches Why am I restating the obvious Because now the whole world can listen thank you Google There is still time for large lumps of wild tropical biodiversity to be recognized and saved The solutions are also recognizable and applicable While globalization is just as much the problem as is the frontier farmer with nine children they are also both part of the solution Globalization allows all of us to listen and participate The occupant of the land is the caretaker LARGE ENDOWED AND INTEGRATED Another reason for hope is that saving various sizes of lumps of tropical biodiversity is within the grasp of each of us as individuals and as groups Buy it off the marketplace The aggregate of those lumps can be several large semi wholes especially if the aggregation is socially integrated locally and nationally Humanity is not going Received 22 April 2010 revision accepted 27 April 2010 1 Corresponding author e mail djanzen sas upenn edu to give the planet back to the wild The wild can only hope for a network or leopard spots of large lumps not a continent s Large they have to be to biologically survive to minimize the island effect to withstand the siege of the adjacent agroscape and to absorb the footprints of us users all of us What else besides large Wild nature needs to be permanently endowed In other words it has to do the strategizing and negotiating required to be a partner to humans The nondamaging biodevelopers of the wild e g Janzen 1999 2000 need job security and operations budgets to cover their mission of wildland survival into perpetuity through integration with society This cannot be achieved through beggar status The wildland lumps must pay their bills No society will long tolerate a parasitic nonintegrated yet adequately large wildland Whether it will die by a thousand cuts or one legislated bullet the free rider will die What else besides large and permanently endowed The conserved wildland must be heavily integrated with the society in which it is imbedded To be integrated means anything to everything including being able to read its biodiversity and its other moods One shirt does not fit all Wildland integration will be very different in Canada California and Costa Rica This is because the shirt is social and the body it wraps is place based biodiversity with all its scars warts and silky smooth niceness TO WHOM AM I TALKING Tropical conservation has been understandably focused on protect it That is the conservation emotion the conservation industry That industry is in part why tropical conservation still has something to work with But it has been a mix of one night stands and success through agricultural inviability of the frontier And then we walk away to the next seductive issue Marriage is long overdue We have far too long deluded ourselves into thinking that saving it was enough But if it is just saved it is dead Just save it is an academic protocol Think it publish it put it in your curriculum vitae From then on it is the journal and the library s responsibility We move on to the next puzzle Conservation is long overdue for creative understanding and mission oriented r 2010 The Author s Journal compilation r 2010 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation 1 SPECIAL SECTION 2 Janzen resident engineers and administrators appropriate annual budgets and appropriate annual yields Park guard is not an adequate staff for a park any more than it is for a bank Conservation through nondamaging biodevelopment is only attained with a secure endowment payment for services and a market for its offerings This structure is well known It is that of a large good long standing university It has security and buildings but it has so much more than that necessary platform Yes there will always be an agroscape hopefully self funded for its environmental health That is one of the human gardens no matter how sustainable The urban ecosystem is another Let humanity have those huge gardens The quid pro quo we seek is that humans let wildness have its large garden in return Janzen 1999 2000 We do not lament the absence of serious wild biodiversity in the shopping mall rice field and football pitch Some whole countries some whole regions some whole places and some bits of places are missing wild biodiversity and always will be Fine back off those of us who really appreciate wild nature We all

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