CEMEX, IUCN and Agrupacion Sierra Madre launch The Red Book: The Extinction Crisis Face to Face
December 3, 2001
- The long-beaked echidna, the spotted handfish, the northern bald ibis, the white uakari, Ricord's iguana… for these species and thousands others like them the point of no return is getting closer and harder to avoid.
(CEMEX, IUCN, ASM) The launch today of a new book highlights a collaboration between industry and science that is working to reverse the extinction crisis by raising awareness of the spectacular and important species the Earth is rapidly losing.
The Red Book: The Extinction Crisis Face to Face produced by CEMEX, one of the world's largest cement companies, in partnership with IUCN-The World Conservation Union, the largest international conservation network and Agrupación Sierra Madre, a Mexican conservation organization, is a dramatic new tool to communicate the issues surrounding extinction and conservation to broad audiences.
Drawing on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species - the world's most objective and authoritative inventory of species at risk of extinction, the Red Book combines awe-inspiring imagery with solid science and factual accounts. More than 100 stunning photographs from some of the most renowned photographers reflect the extraordinary beauty and diversity of the natural world.
The IUCN Red List is a powerful scientific device used by governments, policy makers and NGOs around the world to stimulate conservation action. Although it already plays an important role in conveying the urgency and scale of the current extinction crisis to the international community, the Red Book brings the message to a broader audience. It describes the extinction process, its causes, and the measures needed to reverse it in terms accessible to everyone. The book provides a snapshot of the Red List, how it is compiled, and offers unique insight into a selection of species included, together with the actions needed to save them.
With the Red Book's dramatic cover, readers are compelled to explore the hundreds of beautiful, weird, and intriguing species from the leafy sea dragon to the jade slipper orchid. Yet the plants and animals covered represent only a fraction of the 11,000 species listed as threatened in the Red List. In turn, the Red List represents only a fraction of the millions more species that have not been evaluated, let alone described or even discovered.
"The splendid images - of animals and plants and the places they inhabit - are vivid testimony of the rich variety we are privileged to live with, and a warning of how barren our world will be if we let this extinction wave run its course," says Chair of IUCN's Species Survival Commission, David Brackett.
More than an awareness-raising tool, the Red Book is a call for action to all sectors of society from industry to governments to educators, to work together to save biological diversity. By joining forces with IUCN, CEMEX is showing the positive role that industry, particularly large multinational companies, can play.
"At CEMEX, we recognize the value of our natural resources and the importance of preserving them for present and future generations" says Armando Garcia, Executive Vice President for Development.
IUCN is a science-based organization. Its Species Survival Commission of more than 7000 volunteer experts, has worked for more than 50 years to try to halt extinction, providing the tools and knowledge needed for conservation action. But this community cannot succeed in isolation and that is why IUCN is reaching out to form new strategic partnerships.
"The extinction crisis must be adopted as a shared responsibility by the global community - it needs to be apparent to everyone on this planet just what we are all at risk of losing," says IUCN Director General, Achim Steiner.
"We are keenly aware that information alone will not slow or halt this extinction crisis. With the Red List as the guide and catalyst, IUCN and its partners are engaged in a wide range of activities to conserve biodiversity. Publication of the Red Book is a major step in a new effort to reach beyond conservation agencies and scientific networks, to emphasize that this issue touches and implicates everyone."
For more information contact:
Carolina Caceres, Species Survival Commission, Ottawa, Canada
Phone: +1 819 9974284; Cell: +1 613 791 1740; Fax: +1 819 9537177; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Knee, Species Survival Commission, Gland, Switzerland
Phone: ++41 22 9990153; Fax: ++41 22 9990015; Email: email@example.com
Jorge Perez Aguirre, Media Relations, CEMEX, Monterrey, Mexico
Phone: ++ 52 81 8152 2739; Fax: ++ 52 81 8152 2749; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gregorio Martínez, Public Relations, CEMEX, Monterrey, Mexico
Phone: ++52 81 8152 2744; Fax: ++52 81 8152 2750; Email: email@example.com
CEMEX is one of the three largest cement companies in the world, with approximately 78 million metric tons of production capacity. It is also the world's largest trader of cement and the world's leading producer of white cement. CEMEX is engaged in the production, distribution, marketing, and sale of cement, ready-mix concrete, aggregates, and clinker through operating subsidiaries on four continents. For more information, visit www.cemex.com.
About SSC and IUCN-The World Conservation Union
SSC, an IUCN commission, is a knowledge network of 7,000 members working in almost every country of the world. With 110 Specialist Groups, SSC assesses the conservation status of species, prioritizes conservation actions, and provides advice to decision-makers. IUCN brings together 79 states, 112 government agencies, 735 NGOs, 35 affiliates, and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership. Its mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.
About Agrupación Sierra Madre (ASM)
ASM, Mexican conservation organization, strives to be a driving force for change in society. For over a decade the aim of its endeavors has been to raise awareness about environmental problems and their possible solutions in order to foster the adequate use of natural resources. Since its beginnings, ASM presented its main strategy: communication as a powerful weapon for conservation. ASM serves as the link that bonds several social sectors together, like private businesses with environmental organizations and the academic sector.