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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Is there any Wilderness left?

The Nature ConservancyThis just in from Nature Conservancy:

Is there any wilderness left? A new article in SCIENCE magazine co-authored by The Nature Conservancy's chief scientist says not really — and that conservation's task is no longer to "preserve the wild, but to domesticate nature more wisely." - Full interview with Peter Kareiva here.
They certainly pull on some strong facts (which we have taken the liberty of borrowing in order to really push the point):
  • There's nearly six times as much water held in storage (e.g., behind dams) as there is in free-flowing rivers.
  • About 50 percent of the world's surface area has been converted to grazing land or cultivated crops.
  • And only 17 percent of the world's land area in 1995 was untouched by the direct influence of humans (such as agriculture, roads or even nighttime lights
We at the Wilderness Foundation have shared this concern since our inception more than thirty years ago.

- Explorers and writers, such as the Foundation’s founder Sir Laurens van der Post and its late patron, Sir Wilfrid Thesiger, often wrote of the ancient link between humanity and nature, and how within our fast moving cultures of today, much of this link has been forgotten.

We believe that by visiting the unspoiled places where nature has been allowed to exist since time began, this connection is rekindled.

We realise this alone is not enough - action must be taken - we welcome the research laid out in the paper and the urgent debate it'll hopefully lead to.

If you'd like to rekindle your connection - come on trail with us - and if you'd like to get involved with the latter, attend the next World Wilderness Congress or get in touch with us. Also, check out the work of the IUCN Wilderness Task Force (co-ordinated by our sister organisation Wild)

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