RESEARCH VESSEL MANA
Islands are a place of wonder. They are inspirational, both in the daily lives of people who know them, and in some of the greatest scientific thinkers in history.
Islands are only 5% of the world's landcover, but contain 10% of the global population, and 20% of the world's biodiversity. Despite all of this, islands are under threat. Island biodiversity is among the most threatened in the world, nearly half of extinctions occurring on islands. Local extinctions of plants and animals happen all the time. But when organisms are endemic- meaning they are found nowhere else on earth- a local extinction becomes a global extinction. The small size of islands, and the uniqueness of their flora and fauna, makes them extremely susceptible to global extinction.
The pressures that are driving the loss of island biodiversity are predicted to become increasingly severe as development, overpopulation, climate change, and pollution increase. However, island economies and small island nations depend strongly on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
We need to act now to make informed decisions about how to preserve these resources. Because every island represents a "natural laboratory" with a unique history, islands can provide valuable information about global-scale events, such as climate change.
Our research vessel provides island access to researchers in a fiscally tangible way, allowing them to conduct valuable research, initiate community conservation projects, and provide education in parts of the world that are normally inaccessible.
While she's bound to be a beauty one day, she's currently on the hard and needs some elbow grease to get her back in the water where she should be!