NNH Network recruits support for protection of half the planet by 2050

First-ever Nature Needs Half Network reception engages conservation leaders with a new scientific framework and roadmap for the protection of 50% of Earth’s wild lands. WASHINGTON, D.C., April 5th, 2017 – Dozens of conservation leaders gathered on Wednesday of last week at a reception hosted by the Nature Needs Half Network to provide feedback on an audacious plan to protect half the planet’s wilderness by 2050. Representatives from the scientific, indigenous, arts/media, public, and private spheres invited to attend heard new evidence for the conclusion that protecting half the planet for the benefit of all life on Earth is as feasible as it is necessary. The highlight of the evening’s program was a presentation by Eric Dinerstein and Carly Vynne-Baker on a new scientific framework that will help decision-makers accurately and efficiently identify critical areas for protection. The Nature Needs Half Network (NNHN) was launched in 2009 at the 9th World Wilderness Congress (WILD9) in Mérida, Mexico. Its introduction as an actionable science-based plan grounded in an ethic of care for nature at the scale it needs to continue to produce the things people need most was initially viewed with skepticism. Privately, most conservation leaders recognized the vital necessity of protecting half the planet’s wild areas, while maintaining a public position that this goal was too ambitious. Opinions have since changed with a growing recognition about the severe threats jeopardizing essential natural processes and human well-being. Conservation groups are rapidly adopting the Nature Needs Half vision as the standard by which their work must be measured. “This gathering of senior leaders is an endorsement of the value and need for...

We Can Put an End to the Extinction Crisis

What needs to be done, who is doing it, and how it is getting done The Nature Needs Half Network sees two main goals: Protecting half the Earth one ecoregion at a time to preserve maximum biodiversity Defend human well-being by protecting the environment on which they depend for breathable air, potable water, fertile soils, and a stable climate. This effort is rapidly evolving, but at the highest level the Network will organize to: Promote the two goals; Build-out a three-pronged approach—science, policy, and social engagement; Work towards the two goals through a variety of activities across all sectors of society; Stay abreast of the actions and advice of others, encouraging them to take up work to implement the strategy; and Report back to the funders and the world on progress made. The elements of our approach are to: Support the CBD to design and promote a Global Deal for Nature (GDN), similar to the Paris Climate Deal and interacting with it—to address the second great environmental crisis of our era, the species extinction crisis and to guarantee the survival of a living vibrant biosphere. Embedded in the GDN is the need to achieve NNH in the terrestrial and marine realms within 30 years. We will work towards heads-of-state agreeing to such an accord and mobilizing an order of magnitude more funding per year for conservation to achieve it. For the subsequent 70 years there will be a need to keep fostering and refine restoration efforts in damaged ecoregions. Engage in bottom-up efforts to energize an international grass-roots networks, based on successful existing models, to achieve NNH. A major...
Biodiverse Urban Habitats in Ioannina, Greece

Biodiverse Urban Habitats in Ioannina, Greece

By: Austin Perez One of Greece’s largest cities has proven to be an unexpected biodiversity hotspot supporting an urban habitat for a diverse array of vegetative species. Ioannina is a city in the northwestern region of Greece with a population of over 112,000 people, and is full of centuries worth of history and culture. But researchers have recently discovered that Ioannina is also a biodiversity hotspot and provides a fruitful habitat for a wide diversity of plant species. A recent study has discovered that Ioannina has 11 different habitat types supporting 379 plant species, 27 of which are of conservation interest. Over half (68%) of all of the plant species and subspecies studied were found to be existing in anthropogenic habitats, which were either designed or altered by human activity. This case study presented by Ioannina exemplifies that the anthropogenic habitats of European cities can function as important areas for biodiversity. The existence of biodiverse habitats in city areas demonstrates the importance of promoting urban planning policies that incorporate a focus on nature conservation. This is a key strategy of the WILD Cities Project, which is striving to support the existence and productivity of wild nature in urban areas all over the world in congruence with the Nature Needs Half vision. >> Read more here: Urban habitats as a refuge for biodiversity: A case study in Greece © Aimilios Petrou Source: Kantsa, A., Tscheulin, T., Junker, R.R. et al. (2013). “Urban biodiversity hotspots wait to get discovered: The example of the city of Ioannina, NW Greece”. Landscape and Urban Planning. 120: 129 137. DOI:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.08.013.    ...
The Flathead River Valley

The Flathead River Valley

By: Austin Perez The Flathead River Valley is a vast area of magnificently beautiful wilderness that spans across the United States/Canada border from British Columbia to Montana. Conservation groups have just announced that more than $10 million in private and public funds have been acquired to protect the Flathead River Valley from mining and oil and gas development. In doing so, a major step has been taken towards ensuring the conservation of this remarkable area of wild nature. For over 20 years, environmentalists have been working to ensure the protection and conservation of the Flathead River Valley as a critical element of a mission to preserve wild nature from Yellowstone to Yukon.  “Y2Y” is a great example of a large-scale, transboundary conservation practice promoting ecosystem connectivity that perfectly exemplifies the Nature Needs Half approach to conservation. Please check out The WILD Foundation’s blog post for more information about the great news regarding Flathead...
Wild Oceans!

Wild Oceans!

By: Vance G. Martin The great Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica is one of the planet’s most important marine habitats, upon which many of the other oceans,  seas and marine wildlife depend.  In October 2011, the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA) called for the creation of a network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves in 19 specific areas.  A keystone in this plan is their proposal to designate the Ross Sea, the huge horseshoe shaped area south of New Zealand and surrounded on three sides by Antarctica, as a 3.6 million sq kilometer protected marine reserve.  This is an unprecedented opportunity to establish the world’s largest network of marine protected areas and no-take marine reserves.  Sylvia (Earle) is one of the real movers in this Alliance and on this initiative, along with Edward Norton and Richard Branson.  This is Nature Needs Half in action and everyone can help!  AOA has created a “Join the Watch” campaign, and you can sign on now, download the report and see a great video here. Speaking of marine, have you heard what Sylvia Earle says about Nature Needs Half? >Antarctic Ocean Alliance Launch Press...
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