Sharing technology, data, knowhow. Pooling resources in the common interest across regions of the tropical world for the sake of biodiversity conservation. Take a look at what TEAM is doing. A six minute video appears on the Guardian‘s website, providing much-appreciated coverage:
One million images of wildlife in 16 tropical forests around the world have been captured by the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network. Since it began its work in 2008 to monitor changes in wildlife, vegetation and climate, cameras in the the Americas, Africa and Asia have photographed more than 370 different species including elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, large cats, honey badgers, tapirs and tropical birds
Tropical ecosystems are the biologically richest places on the planet, yet what we know about them comes from scientific studies so specialized that the results rarely make the local news. “Most ecological studies last fewer than five years at a single study site, with measurements focused on an area of only ten meters squared,” explains Sandy Andelman, Vice President of Conservation International for the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network. “Ecology needs to scale up to address global climate change and other environmental threats.”
Scaling up to global proportions is precisely what TEAM was created to do. This ambitious program is devoted to monitoring long-term trends in biodiversity, land cover change, climate and ecosystem services in tropical forests. Tropical forests received first billing because of their overwhelming significance to the global biosphere (e.g., their disproportionately large role in global carbon and energy cycles) and because of the extraordinary threats they face. About 50 percent of the species described on Earth, and an even larger proportion of species not yet described, occur in tropical forests.
The idea behind TEAM is deceptively simple: to measure and compare plants, terrestrial mammals, ground-dwelling birds and climate using a standard methodology in a range of tropical forests, from relatively pristine places to those most affected by people. TEAM currently operates in sixteen tropical forest sites across Africa, Asia and Latin America supporting a network of scientists committed to standardized methods of data collection to quantify how plants and animals respond to pressures such as climate change and human encroachment.