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Sustaining Life


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Table of Contents

Foreword - E. O. Wilson Prologue - Kofi Annan 1. What is Biodiversity? , Stuart Pimm, Maria Alice dos Santos Alves, Eric Chivian, and Aaron Bernstein 2. How is Biodiversity Threatened by Human Activity? , Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein 3. Ecosystem Services , Jerry Melillo and Osvaldo Sala 4. Medicines from Nature , David J. Newman, John Kilama, Aaron Bernstein, and Eric Chivian 5. Biodiversity and Biomedical Research , Eric Chivian, Aaron Bernstein, and Joshua P. Rosenthal 6. Threatened Groups of Organisms Valuable to Medicine , Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein 7. Ecosystem Disturbance, Biodiversity Loss, and Human Infectious Disease , David H. Molyneux, Richard S. Ostfeld, Aaron Bernstein, and Eric Chivian 8. Biodiversity and Food Production , Daniel Hillel and Cynthia Rosenzweig 9. Genetically Modified Foods and Organic Farming , Eric Chivian and Aaron Bernstein 10. What Individuals Can Do to Help Conserve Biodiversity , Jeffrey A. McNeely, Eleanor Sterling, and Kalemani Jo Mulongoy Appendix A: Co-sponsors Appnedix B: Treaties, Conventions, and Intergovernmental Organizations Appendix C: Non-Governmental Organizations

About the Author

Eric Chivian, M.D., is the Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. He shared the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize. He is the lead editor and author of Last Aid: The Medical Dimensions of Nuclear War and Critical Condition: Human Health and the Environment. Aaron Bernstein, M.D., is a Research Associate at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, and pediatrician at Children's Hospital Boston, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.


"This book represents a landmark addition to our understanding of our ecological heritage, and the importance of preserving it." Publishers Weekly A Powerhouse of information on a topic that concerns us all. Highly recommended. Irwin weintraub, Library Journal "It is a new and comprehensive review of the latest tally of planetary profit and loss..." "Sustaining Life is the most complete and powerful argument I have seen for the importance of preserving biodiversity."--Al Gore, former Vice President, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate "It was an exhilarating moment when scientists broke the genome code and showed us the basic building blocks of the human being. Now scientists are showing us how biodiversity works and why it is crucial to saving our planet for our children's children and beyond. This important and compelling book is a blueprint for acting wisely and urgently."--Bill Moyers, former White House Press Secretary, Host of PBS's Bill Moyers Journal "There is probably no better way to convince anyone still uncertain about the urgent need to preserve biodiversity, which is rapidly diminishing as a result of human activities, than to document its importance to human health and medicine. The authors have done this with great thoroughness and from every possible angle, producing a volume that pairs authority with anecdote and scholarship with passion."--Harold Varmus, President, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1989 Nobel Prize Laureate, former Director of the National Institutes of Health "As a public health physician, I have been deeply involved for decades in helping political leaders, policy-makers, and the general public understand the relationship between human beings and the environment. Sustaining Life is the best and most comprehensive resource available demonstrating how human health depends on the health of the natural world."--Gro Brundtland, former Director-General of the World Health Organization, former Prime Minister of Norway "One of the main reasons the world faces a global environmental crisis is the belief that we human beings are somehow separate from the natural world in which we live, and that we can therefore alter its physical, chemical, and biological systems without these alterations having any effect on humanity. Sustaining Life challenges this widely held misconception by demonstrating definitively, with the best and most current scientific information available, that human health depends, to a larger extent than we might imagine, on the health of other species and on the healthy functioning of natural ecosystems."--Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2001 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, from the Prologue "A powerhouse of information on a topic that concerns of us all. Highly recommended."--Irwin Weintraub, Library Journal Reviews

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