Jesús Argente, Marine biology

Letter of support from Jesús Argente, Marine biology

Name Jesús Enrique Argente García City State: Murcia Phone number: +34639283896 Affiliation: Department of Information and Communications Engineering—University of Murcia (Spain).

Andrea (Drea) Burbank, MD CEO, Savimbo Inc. Carerra 6 - Numero #3-21, Villagarzon, Putumayo, Colombia

Re: Savimbo Sentinal species biodiversity methodology

Dear Dr. Burbank,

I am writing to express my support for your proposed biodiversity methodology to use sentinel species as a metric of conserved biodiversity in tropical forests. From my point of view, I think that this methodology can be very interesting for its application and replication in marine and coastal ecosystems around the world. Considering the socio-ecological connection between coastal, and marine terrestrial ecosystems to facilitate an integral conservation of nature and favoring the local populations of a specific territory.

I comment from the perspective of a marine biologist specializing in environmental governance and digitization issues in a global blue economy context. From my personal experience in these fields, where I have combined the study of biodiversity, sociology, and technological systems leveraged to the conservation of coastal and marine species and ecosystems for more than 18 years, and consistently promoting the importance of integrating the knowledge and know-how of the local population.

There is a deep and immediate need for regulatory markets/economy/science/research that supports the conservation of species that are at risk of disappearing or are still unknown to science. Mechanisms that enable local populations to take the necessary measures to protect their lands, coast, and seas, the species within them, and ensure their protection.

I support this methodology because it has a logical and simple framework, with a replicable scientific background. This means that it can be applied in any ecosystem, to locate the umbrella species and, from there, generate projects to protect these species and all those that cohabit with them. It follows that advancing the development of this methodology would be of enormous benefit, as it could benefit not only the Amazonian Piedmont area, but any terrestrial, coastal, and marine area where biodiversity is at risk and requires special care and attention.

Finally, it is of utmost importance to guarantee a means of subsistence to those people who live in these ecosystems so that they abandon hunting and logging and dedicate themselves to protecting and multiplying the life that surrounds them. Being in permanent contact with the species and possessing a millenary knowledge, inherited from their ancestors, they are undoubtedly the ideal guardians of this treasure of humanity. For this reason, biodiversity credits are a reasonable and viable way to generate nonhierarchical and decentralized paid work in this sector of the population, which consists of conserving and protecting biodiversity.

I know several aspects of the methodology, which have been intentionally simplified to allow for scientific consistency, market scale, and direct access to biodiversity markets for local peoples.

  • The methodology will allow for the use of trusted human coders for coordinates and date/time stamps for raw data from observation points (video or audio recordings), relying on verification/validation bodies to validate this data.

  • The range of sentinel species will be simplified to a circle with a documented observation point in the center, and the area of the circle determined by species-specific habitat needs derived from public sources.

  • The methodology will equate rare/umbrella/keystone/endangered species, with four tiers of qualification (platinum, gold, silver, and bronze) based on the species' ability to represent an intact biodiversity ecosystem.

  • No individual species identification or density calculations will be made. Rather individual observations will be equated if they fall within a 2-month timeframe and the same geocoordinates.

  • Baseline biodiversity will be calculated from public sources, sometimes for a much wider region, organized by taxonomic kingdom.

While many researchers have access to much more extensive tools with which to quantify biodiversity, this methodology is sufficient to allow for scientific accuracy, transparency, and standardization between ecosystems, and across many different endangered species. I believe it is a robust standard on which a sound market could be built, and enable the immediate preservation of critical zones worldwide.

I am available to respond to requests for information, and happy to provide an independent voice for the validity of this methodology.


Dr. Jesús Enrique Argente García Marine biologist Department of Information and Communications Engineering. University of Murcia, Spain

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