Why “interconnected” is important

Sarah Kuck recently wrote a great article for YES! Magazine about why wildlife needs room to roam and why connecting protected areas is important.  She highlights issues such as global climate shifts, loss of natural predators and the need for conservation to include economic opportunities for local communities.  Her dialog very clearly and concisely summarizes the need for large, protected areas that are interconnected – in essence, why Nature Needs Half.  Here is a brief excerpt, and I encourage you to read the full article “Wildlife Right of Way” > (But) biologists like Michael Soulé and Reed Noss say grizzlies, wolves, and other big mammals shouldn’t be a casualty of modern society. They could make a comeback—if we give them what they need most: space. Soulé and Noss presented a new method for conservation in their 1998 paper, “Rewilding and Biodiversity: Complementary Goals for Continental Conservation.” They discussed how the expansion of national parks and protected lands is necessary but only part of the answer. To piece back together the vast ecosystems that once stretched across North America, rewilding suggests an additional focus on reconnecting the scattered pockets of remaining wilderness, and on re-establishing predator populations. These methods have now evolved from conservation idea to practice and have become promising tools for fighting biodiversity loss. Conservation is often about saving one dwindling population, one small remnant. Rewilding asks us to think big—to envision a continent-wide conservation strategy, with large core areas of protected land linked by lush, safe passageways for migrating species. Rewilding says that, although saving big spaces is critical, linking the spaces is just as crucial to...

Quebec’s Protected Areas Strategic Plan

On 18 May 2011, Quebec announced is Protected Areas strategic plan.  The plan’s targets include protecting 10% of marine areas and 12% of land area by 2015. This is a positive step towards a network of protected areas totally 50%. The Québec network of protected areas currently covers 8.35% of the province.  Read the full plan...

Nature Needs Half in the Economist

Boreal blues – In the frigid north tension grows between conservation and development CANADA’S vast boreal zone contains the world’s largest intact old-growth forest and has more fresh water than the Amazon. Its flora help to slow climate change and it is a breeding ground for 3 billion migratory songbirds. Only 12% of the region is now formally protected, well below the 50% scientists say is necessary to save its ecosystem. On May 9th Quebec unveiled the Plan Nord, a C$2.1 billion ($2.2 billion) proposal that seeks both to develop its northern region and to safeguard its environment. But whether those two objectives are actually compatible remains open for debate. Continue reading...

Update from Cycling Silk: Explaining Borders to the Birds

Here’s the most recent update from Kate & Mel of Cycling Silk…. In the world of strict plans and fixed agendas, detours are just distractions. But on the Cycling Silk expedition, detours often prove the destination – and not just because we frequently get lost. So when KuzeyDoğa, an award-winning Turkish NGO, invited us to explore their biodiversity conservation projects in the borderlands of eastern Turkey – wooing us with wild animals, wide open spaces, and a visit to a Turkish bath – we knew it would be worth diverting from our intended route for a visit. After all, we hadn’t showered in a week. So we steered south, away from the Black Sea, and began climbing onto the Kars Plateau, swapping heavy rain for heavier snow along the way. The roads grew so slick with ice we had to work twice as hard to go half as fast. Sometimes we couldn’t bike at all. Climbing a pass during a blizzard, the snow not so much falling as firing, flakes sharp and aimed as arrows, the police stopped us and made us cross the pass in a truck (driven by Osman and Mustafa, of course.) At least the heated cab offered respite from the snot-crackling, lung-stiffening cold. Surviving on the bike in such conditions required cartwheel breaks to centrifugally force blood back into extremities. While I exulted in this suddenly polar world, cryophile that I am, Mel may never join me on another winter adventure again, even if she someday thaws out from this one. Whether because of the cold or despite it, we fell in love with Kars....
Boulder’s Conservation Legacy

Boulder’s Conservation Legacy

Ruth Wright, a leader in Boulder’s Open Space movement, tells the story of Boulder’s conservation legacy from the Olmsted Plan to current day. Ruth speaks of the visionaries who hiked our backdrop to establish the Blue Line for the city and the many successes for wild-nature since. She also talks about the ongoing challenges of managing protected lands so we keep nature alive and well. Boulder, Colorado is a leading example of the Nature Needs Half vision with 68% of the county’s land protected. Nature Needs Half is a global call to action to protect at least half of the planet’s land and water to support all life on earth.  See the full Boulder case-study> Produced by Morgan Heim & the “Legacy team”. *The person mentioned in the video is Fredrick Law Olmsted, Sr – the designer of New York’s Central Park.  But, it was actually Fredrick Law Olmsted Jr. is the son of Fredrick Law Olmsted, who came to...

Citizens unite

In Macedonia people are taking off work to replant trees that have been lost in their many fires. Between 2006 and 2007 it is estimated that 35,000 hectares have been lost to fires. For three years a movement to get everyday citizens involved in the replanting process has been gaining steam with an annual day to volunteer supported by government and NGO’s alike. Their efforts have planted more than 30 million trees, only a small dent in a restoration project that is expected to take 50 years but it does serve to bring environmental awareness to the people of Macedonia and offer a hands-on way to get involved. Read more...
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