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...

Reserves: How Much Is Enough and How Do We Get There From Here?

(Essay) Reserves: How Much Is Enough and How Do We Get There From Here? By John Terborgh, Duke University Is the human species doing enough to conserve the rest of the world’s species for posterity? If not, then how much is enough? This is a key question, and opinions about the correct answer vary widely. An industry spokesperson is likely to ask, “Don’t they (the conservationists) have enough already?” “How much do they want, anyway?” This is a typical but inappropriate response, first, because the issue is really a scientific one, and second, because it puts conservationists in the awkward position of having to say that reserving a certain amount of habitat will be sufficient to save nature. The only correct answer from a scientific standpoint is, “all of it.” That is how much of Earth was available to nature before modern man entered the picture. Since then, at least half of Earth’s terrestrial environment has been degraded or completely transformed to support the human enterprise. We know that half or more of Earth’s native habitat cannot be eliminated without endangering large numbers of species. In fact, more than 100 species have gone extinct in the U.S. alone since the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was approved by Congress. An additional 1200+ species are currently listed as endangered, and an even larger number of unlisted candidate species lurks in the background. This should be warning enough that humans are pushing our luck in preempting Earth’s resources for ourselves. Thus, the best answer to the question, “How much do they want?” is “Everything that is left.” Admittedly, this is a tall...

Conservation, bringing countries together

Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia have come together to protect about 800,000 ha of floodplains along their shared boundaries. The Mura, Drava and Danube rivers, rich in biodiversity and cultural heritage, are known as ‘Europe’s Amazon,’ and are now being protected from potentially harmful sand dredging and dam development. This landmark cooperative decision represents the best of Nature Needs Half’s goals, as it has paved the way for the first five-country protected area. Read more...

Cycling Silk Team Featured by Turkish NGO

The Cycling Silk team is learning about conservation and transboundary initiatives all along the Silk Road.  Check out their recent conversation with the KuzeyDoga Society. Canadian Cyclists Explore Conservation across… by kuzeydoga The vision of KuzeyDoga Society is to prevent extinctions and consequent collapses of critical ecosystem processes while making sure that human communities benefit from conservation as much as the wildlife they help conserve. Learn more about Cycling Silk about what it means for Nature Needs Half...

Is religion, the key to conservation?

Islamic leaders in Indonesia sure think so. Many Islamic conservationists have banded together to form FORDALING (the Islamic Leader Forum for Environmental Care), and are working to spread environmental education through religious studies. The group has put together teaching seminars, planted seedlings in its nursery, and most recently helped publish the Ayat-Auat Konservasi, the Islamic Verses for Conservation. This 120 page book utilizes verses from the Koran to address why conservation should be important to Indonesian Muslims, stressing Muhammad’s compassion for individual animals as well as for the greater ecosystem.  Read more about how these Islamic leaders are teaching conservation...

Bringing back the Garden of Eden

Under Saddam Hussein the Mesopotamian Marshlands, considered the largest wetland ecosystem in the Middle East were drained to a tenth of their original size in order to punish the Marsh Arabs for uprising. These marshlands once stretched over 6,000 square miles and are believed to be the location of the Garden of Eden. Today the area is coming back to life. A restoration project that has been in effect since 2003 is rerouting water once diverted away and the area is seeing signs of recovery. New reeds are growing along the embankment and the area is seeing the return of wildlife and people alike.  Read more & see photos of the Mesopotamian Marshlands...
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