photo of small bat, highlighting diverse life forms found underground

A conservation roadmap for the subterranean biome

Conservation Letters, Viewpoint article

Jut Wynne, a CAWL affiliate, and co-authors from 23 countries and five indigenous groups present a “roadmap” for a multilateral effort to conserve the subterranean biome in an article published in Conservation Letters. The resources of concern include groundwater, subterranean ecosystem services, and endemic subsurface biodiversity. These resources have been overlooked almost entirely by the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which will meet in Kunming, China, in October 2021. The authors outline a conservation roadmap that flows from addressing data gaps and data management needs to policy development and implementation. The roadmap presents a framework for near-term and longer duration conservation actions to protect the world’s subterranean ecosystems. “Formulating targets to further reduce threats to the subterranean biome is essential to this year’s CBD meeting in Kunming. We must act now,” the authors conclude.