Biodiversity: Is there hope? - FACT-B in Washington, D.C.

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The Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States and Smithsonian Conservation Commons are pleased to invite you to a French-American Climate Talk on Biodiversity (FACT-B) to be held on June 18, 2019 in Washington, D.C. on "Biodiversity and People".

Nature plays a critical role in providing food, energy, medicines, and a variety of aspects that are central to our quality of life and cultural integrity. A landmark assessment released in May in Paris revealed that nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history. This report, conducted by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), concludes that “transformative change is needed” to halt the loss of biodiversity and maintain the healthy functioning of ecosystems that underpin all dimensions of human life.

 A growing movement has been emerging that seeks to catalyze such transformative change: Earth Optimism documents and magnifies stories of conservation actions that are working, across sectors and locations, and builds a global community of practice to scale up science-based conservation solutions. In this spirit, French and American biodiversity experts will share innovative success stories and discuss how more people may be engaged in France, in the United States and around the globe, with the mission to jointly build a sustainable future for our planet.


  • Thomas Lovejoy, University Professor George Mason University and Senior Fellow United Nations Foundation
  • Autumn-Lynn Harrison, Scientist, Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
  • Steven Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
  • Cyrille Barnerias, Head of European and International Affairs, French Biodiversity Agency
  • Thierry Boulinier, CNRS Research Director, Center for Functional & Evolutionary Ecology, University of Montpellier


  • Ruth Stolk, Founding Executive Director, Smithsonian Conservation Commons

The panel will be followed by a cocktail reception in the Maison Française Ballroom from 7:00 pm.

The event is free but registration is required.

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FACT-B is a new series of high-level conferences bringing together French, American, and Canadian speakers from academia, government agencies, NGOs, and think tanks. The goal of FACT-B is twofold: to raise public and decision makers’ awareness in France, the U.S., and Canada, as well as to reinforce exchanges between scientists and experts on biodiversity issues. FACT-B is part of France’s broader efforts to make biodiversity conservation a priority at the international level, in the same way as the fight against climate change. The initiatives on biodiversity to be led by the French diplomatic network in North America in 2019 will echo the organization of major events in France in 2019 and 2020, including the 7th Plenary of the IPBES in Paris (April 2019); the G7 Summit, one of whose priorities will be biodiversity conservation, in Biarritz (August 2019); and the 7th World Conservation Congress of the IUCN in Marseille (June 2020).