Research, education and monitoring

There is still much to learn on how to get better use from biological resources, how to maintain the genetic base of harvested biological resources, and how to rehabilitate degraded ecosystems. Natural areas provide excellent living laboratories for such studies, for comparison with other areas under different systems of use, and for valuable research into ecology and evolution. Unaltered habitats are often essential for certain research approaches, providing controls against which the changes brought about by different management regimes may be measured and assessed. Microorganisms, which play a vital role in many ecosystems, have enabled significant progress to be made in the field of food products.