Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Human footprint and the trail less travelled

Illustration from Science as reported by National Geographic - Click to see full size and full storyWe previously talked about an article in Science covering research by The Nature Conservancy on how much true wilderness there really is left in the world...

Here's a brief update with a great visual illustrating the shipping lanes and road networks of the world. If you click on the image you'll be able to see a bigger version on the National Geographic website - who also have further coverage of the human footprint in their archive:

The Amazon, Sahara, Southern Saudi Arabia, Siberia, Eastern China and the middle of Australia appear to be the only places resistant to the human footprint on a large scale... Most of those areas are deserts. One of our favourite efforts in this field is that of our friends at Bush Heritage Australia. If you're in the UK but would like to help them, get in touch with our office.

We also have some great reading material on deserts around the world - amongst others by Sir Wilfred Thesiger, our late patron.

The odd one out from list above is of course the Amazon which is everything but dry - and for the first time ever, the World Wilderness Congress will convene in South America and we expect an inreased focus on this great forest.
"The WWC is the longest running public international environmental forum. It is a conservation project that creates coalitions, establishes timelines, sets objectives and achieves practical outcomes. Established in 1977, it has convened on eight occasions in 30 years to review progress, debate issues, announce results and celebrate the importance and vitality of wild nature." - More on Wild's pages about the WWC
Last but not least it shouldn't be forgotten that our sister organisation in South Africa, is holding the fort (or the boundary rather) in a number of areas, most famous of which is the Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve. And if you'd like to take walk on a trail less travelled ... Then read more about our minimum impact wilderness experiences.

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