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Dr. Carlos Joly


Dr. Carlos Joly
Plant Biology Department, Biology Institute, State University of Campinas &IPBES

Co-Chair Multidisciplinary Experts Panel/MEP& Chairman of the BIOTA/FAPESP Program

We describe an ongoing research program, BIOTA/FAPESP (www.biota.org.br), in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, that may be a useful example of how to translate biodiversity knowledge into public policies, potential bioproducts and bridge the gap between scientist, industrial sector and policy makers. Although better known for its economic development, producing 1/3 of Brazil’s GNP, 40% of the country’s exports and hosting 1/5 of its population (≈ 42 million inhabitants in an area similar to UK in size), the State is also extremely rich in terms of species diversity (it hosts at least 7,200 species of Phanerogams). Between 2006/08, BIOTA-FAPESP researchers made a joint effort to synthesize biodiversity data for public-policy-making and sustainable uses. Scientists worked with the State Secretary of the Environment and NGOs to produce, based on more than 151,000 records of 9,405 species, as well as landscape structural parameters and biological indices from over 92,000 fragments of native vegetation, two synthesis maps, identifying priority areas for biodiversity conservation and restoration. These maps, together with the book with detailed information, were adopted by the State Government, to improve and/or create new legislation, including new protected areas and the agro-ecological zoning of sugar cane expansion.

There are now 19 legal instruments that quote the BIOTA-FAPESP guidelines. Furthermore, ca. 1,000 molecules have been identified from species of Cerrado and Atlantic Forest as a result of the bioprospecting efforts. Considering these results, together with the high productivity in published papers (> 1.100) and trained human resources (198 MSc, 204 PhD and 96 Post Docs), over 12 years. In 2009 the State of São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) renewed, for another 10 years, its 2.5 to 3.0 US$ millions/year support, aiming to prolong and enhance the rewards of a coordinated research investment that combines biodiversity research, personnel training, bioprospection and public-policy impact.

Keywords: megadiversity conservation, science-policy interface, capacity building, natural products diversity. After graduating in Biological Sciences at the Univ. Sao Paulo/USP in 1976,

Carlos A. Joly did his MSc in Plant Biology at the State Univ. Campinas/UNICAMP (1979), his PhD at the Botany Department – Univ. St. Andrews/Scotland (1982) and a Post-Doc at Univ. Bern/Switzerland (1993/94). In 1997 he became full professor of Plant Ecology at UNICAMP. During his career he has published more than 60 papers and/or book chapters, edited 10 books and supervised 21 MSc and 11 PhD.

As main mentor of the BIOTA/FAPESPProgramme (www.biota.org.br), he was in charge of planning, setting and implementing it from 1996 to 2004, being recently reappointed as Chairman of the Programme.

Within the BIOTA/FAPESP he is also the Editor in Chief of the electronic peer reviewed scientific journal BIOTA NEOTROPICA (www.biotaneotropica.org.br) and Coordinator of the Biota Functional Gradient Project.

In his academic career at UNICAMP he was Chairman of the PhD/MSc Ecology Program, Head of the Botany Department, Dean of the Graduate School, as well as representative of the University in the State of Sao Paulo Environmental Council/CONSEMA and in the UN meeting in Rio (UNCED 92). He was also member of Committees of CNPq and FAPESP, of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Land/Inland waters ecotone UNESCO/MAB Program, and of the Brazilian Delegation in the UN meeting in Johannesburg (WSSD 2002)

Currently he is the Coordinator of the Brazilian Committee of RELAB/Latin American Network of Biological Science, and member of the following boards: Executive Committee of SCOPE, Scientific Planning Group of ICSU-LAC and the Steering Committee of FAPESP’s Climate Change Programme. At UNICAMP he is the Head of the Plant Biology Department and member of Steering Committee of de PhD Programme in Environment and Society.