Biodiversity: Daniel Janzen

September 30, 2010 – "How to Conserve a Large Tropical Wildland Through Biodiversity Development: Costa Rican Example"
Daniel H. Janzen, Thomas and Louise E. DiMaura Professor of Conservation Biology, University of Pennsylvania

Tropical conservation is deeply embedded in the protocol called "buy it or decree it, attempt to protect it with park guards, and engage in a wide variety of confrontations with a ravenous society". Some element of this protocol is a reasonable ingredient in the beginning of conservation for any particular place, but if that is all that happens, the unpleasant truth is that we are not talking perpetuity. The bad guys always win. One night stands, no matter how emotionally pretty, are just that. Somehow, the conserved wildland has to move into complex satisfaction of multiple agendas across multiple social sectors -- the diverse portfolio approach to risk management and being dependent on variable markets. The bank guard is not what makes a bank successful. This tailor-made biodiversity development of a specific conserved wildland can and must be multifaceted as are universities, health systems, communication systems, and other things we all want to last indefinitely. It will be expensive and the expense must be balanced by generation of goods and services. Parasitic systems do not survive. Costa Rica's Area de Conservacion Guanacaste has survived 25 years of evolving into this protocol for its own survival, and is meant to be a transparent example.

Dr. Daniel H. Janzen (PhD) is the Thomas G. and Louise E. DiMaura Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. A member of the US National Academy of Sciences, he has received the MacArthur Fellowship, the Crafoord Prize, and the Kyoto Prize for his work in tropical biology and conservation. Janzen and his wife Dr. Winnie Hallwachs were instrumental in restoring the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, and have been working for the last 25 years to expand and endow it in perpetuity.