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Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research

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Project • CRYS2017-03SY-Sing

Urban Biodiversity and Human Well-Being in Asia’s Megacities

In urban green spaces, such as city parks, native insects provide important ecosystem services including pollination of plants that provide food for humans and other animals, and enrich human well-being. These important services proceed largely unnoticed and have received limited attention. Several studies of insect diversity in city parks, thought of as urban wildlife refuges, have been conducted in Europe and North America but few have been conducted in rapidly urbanizing countries in Asia. Without further research on the diversity of insects in urbanization hotspots we cannot predict how future development will affect the ecosystem services and benefits they provide. The project will focus on three megacities (Bangkok, Beijing and Ho Chi Minh) and on butterflies – a model “biodiversity indicator” group for biodiversity studies. Ten parks in each city will be selected, standardized butterfly sampling conducted, and environmental data recorded. We will conduct interviews with park users to explore perceptions of butterfly diversity in urban parks and its relationship with human well-being. The project will complement ongoing global research on urban ecolocy and reveal links between biodiversity and human well-being in cities from a uniquely Asian perspective. The findings will help policy makers facing the challenge of monitoring and managing biodiversity in megacities so as to promote beneficial interactions and co-existence between urban insects and the public.

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