TWO South African scientists are part of an international panel set up to save species from possible extinction through climate change.
Stellenbosch University’s Guy Midgley‚ professor of global change biology‚ and conservation biologist Wendy Foden will lead the three-year project in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Stellenbosch is one of six leading universities collaborating with Conservation International to model the response to climate change of more than 100‚000 tropical species on three continents.
The research will help to identify regions and ecosystems that‚ if protected‚ preserve biodiversity.
"The goal is to build networks of protected areas that reduce extinctions due to climate change‚ at the same time delivering clean water‚ tourism opportunities and numerous other benefits to people‚" said Conservation International.
The panel of scientists overseeing the project includes renowned Kenyan paleoanthropologist‚ conservationist and politician Richard Leakey.
"This focused analysis (provides) critical information on the movement of key species‚" said Conservation International
Environmental scientist Thomas Lovey‚ senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation‚ said: "The time to act is now to get protected areas in the right places to help prevent species extinctions in a changing climate."
The project is funded by the Global Environmental Facility.