Our Planet Reviewed - Expedition Papua New-guinea

Pro-Natura International
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
IRD

our planet reviewed

The Interview of professor Philippe Bouchet (MNHN) and Olivier Pascal (PNI), © F. Dubos | MNHN

In appearance order : Olivier Pascal (PNI) from Pro Natura International and Philippe Bouchet professor on the Systematic and Evolution Department of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle.

Naturalists and systematic biologists have travelled the world for more than 250 years now in order to discover its flora and fauna. Thanks to the patient efforts of generations of scientists, about 1.8 million species are today known and can be described. However, the scope of the tasks still to be accomplished remains enormous: according to estimations, there are still between 8 and 30 million unknown species on our planet. But time is of the essence since the sixth big extinction has already begun. A large number of these organisms are already seriously threatened and many will have already disappeared before they have even been discovered.

Many species are still to be discovered

Many species are still to be discovered

To sample the living

To sample the living

Context

The first naturalist expeditions with the aim of scientifically describing the living world date back to the middle of the 18th century. Two hundred and fifty years later, biologists thought that they had identified half of the inventory of animal and vegetal species populating the planet.

Targeted areas for the expeditions

Targeted areas for the expeditions

Destinations

At the end of the 1980ies, a revolution took place in the area of the biology of conservation. Its beginning was the question of a researcher, Norman Myers: “In which area of the world does a dollar spent have the biggest effect on slowing down current extinction?”

Survey of the canopy with the "arboglisseur"

Survey of the canopy with the "arboglisseur"

Methods

The initiative “La Planète revisitée” does not result from a spontaneous generation. As heir of the great naturalist expeditions of the past, it is based on proven know-how, the quintessence of which is expressed in the expedition “Santo 2006”.