Biodiversity Crisis Response Committee

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The purpose of this committee is to investigate the role of SPNHC in mobilizing collections around effective means of mitigating biodiversity loss and widely broadcasting the collection community’s positive contributions in this area.

Our collections and research contribute directly to regional, national, and international assessments of rare and endangered species, the compilation of checklists, floras and faunas, and taxonomic, phylogenetic, evolutionary, and ecological research. Our collections form a global biodiversity baseline that is critical to tracking and predicting the effects of climate change on people and on the natural world. In June 2019, the Biodiversity Crisis Response Committee of SPNHC formed in response to an urgent call to action to prevent the loss of close to one million species in what is being called an international ‘biodiversity crisis’ that will change the face of the planet.

Initially, the committee conducted a survey of members of the collections community to determine the prioritization of conservation actions the committee and SPNHC could undertake. The results were presented at the committee meeting as part of the 2020 annual SPNHC conference.

This was followed by submissions by SPNHC (between-species level taxonomic and phylogenetic tools for conservation) and Jutta Buschbom (Statistical Genetics) (conservation-genomic population-genetic tools at the within-species level) to the public peer review process of the Convention on Biological Diversity for the draft post-2020 global biodiversity framework and its proposal of indicators and a monitoring framework in August 2020 by the committee and various SPNHC partners.

On October 7, 2020, the committee held the first in a series of panel discussions with conservation experts to consider how the biological collections community can most effectively contribute to protecting biodiversity. A recording of that meeting can be found here:

The committee has also set up a resources page in the SPNHC best practices wiki to provide resources for collections to use to promote the use of their collections in conservation and in addressing the biodiversity crisis as well as to advocate for their collections. The page can be found here: If you have any additional resources that you think may be useful for others please let us know by contacting one of the committee members.

Committee Members

Current committee membership

If you are interested in working with this committee please contact us.

Committee Documents

Biodiversity Crisis Response Committee Description (SPNHC Leadership Manual)