September 10, 2016

Tenth of global wilderness lost in past 20 years

Common Dreams - Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology show catastrophic declines in wilderness areas around the world over the last 20 years. They demonstrate alarming losses comprising a tenth of global wilderness since the 1990s – an area twice the size of Alaska and half the size of the Amazon. The Amazon and Central Africa have been hardest hit.

“Globally important wilderness areas—despite being strongholds for endangered biodiversity, for buffering and regulating local climates, and for supporting many of the world’s most politically and economically marginalized communities—are completely ignored in environmental policy,” says Dr James Watson of the University of Queensland in Australia and the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York. “Without any policies to protect these areas, they are falling victim to widespread development. We probably have one to two decades to turn this around. International policy mechanisms must recognize the actions needed to maintain wilderness areas before it is too late. We probably have one to two decades to turn this around.”

1 comment:

greg gerritt said...

Urbanized communiites have always destroyed forests and either absorbed or killed all of the forest people. The forests close to the coast, close to harbors, with abundant water and good soils, the people who lived in them were urbanized or killed centuries or millenia ago. What we see is the urban people of the planet seeking the last remaining forests because civilization as we know it must have forest products, wood, paper, and other items, in order to thrive. As a person of wild spaces as well as cities, with a strong sense that the remaining indigenous communities are our last chance to save the plane. Uunderstanding how civilizations eat forests makes me not only fearful for the forest and mountain people, it helps me understand the demise of urbanized places as well. We need to move to an economy no longer based on growth to preserve forests and forest people and the rest of us.