Support materials only that illustrate some possible contexts for exploring Science as a Human Endeavour concepts in relation to Science Understanding content.
Developments in software, computing and supercomputing have been important in ecological classification as they have enabled scientists to classify regions according to large sets of biotic and abiotic data and to compare data over time (ACSBL010). Supercomputers have also enabled the development of large, complex models to analyse species data collected from multiple individuals in a range of locations, and to infer relationships between species, including their shared evolutionary past (ACSBL009). Advances in remote sensing radar imagery and satellite tracking in real time have enabled scientists to measure and monitor populations and play a significant role in surveying and monitoring large or inaccessible ecosystems.
International agreements about biodiversity protection, such as the World Heritage Convention, are based on the premise that local, regional and international biodiversity represent a global resource, vital for human survival, that should be maintained for future generations (ACSBL008). The World Heritage Convention is designed to ensure the protection of natural and cultural heritage and encourage international cooperation in the conservation of biodiversity. Sites are selected as natural World Heritage based on a range of criteria, including, but not limited to, conservation of biodiversity (ACSBL011). Selected sites are monitored to ensure continued integrity, protection and management, including evaluation of projected economic, social and environmental impacts on the site (ACSBL014). Within the international scientific community, methods and findings related to biodiversity monitoring and analysis are shared through peer reviewed articles in international journals (ACSBL014).
Setting agreed biodiversity targets has been proposed as one way to achieve positive international action towards biodiversity conservation and encourage accountability (ACSBL008). Setting such targets requires a broad range of scientific knowledge in gathering data, identifying indicators and ensuring that measurement is valid and reliable and will inform improved ecosystem management (ACSBL009). The 2010 Biodiversity Target was endorsed by the World Summit on Sustainable Development and aimed to achieve a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss at global, regional and national levels. Measurement of attainment of this target required international agreement regarding baseline data, acceptable timescales, acceptable rates and appropriate measures for monitoring and evaluating the rate of biodiversity loss (ACSBL008).