The Scary New Math of Warming

Toronto Star, The Scary New Math of Warming; published 21 November 2009 by Peter Gorrie A recent environmental summit set ambitious new targets for reducing greenhouse gasses. If new environmental campaigns take hold, you’ll hear a lot about two numbers during the next few months. If they succeed, you could find yourself living, and thinking, differently. The numbers are 350 and 50. The first is a target for reducing the carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere. The second refers to the minimum percentage of land and ocean that must be protected from development to ward off climate change and prevent the extinction of many plants and animals. >>Read the full...

Conservation Beyond Crisis Management

Conservation Beyond Crisis Management: A Conservation-Matrix Model A Discussion Paper for the Canadian BEACONs Project In many regions of the world, failure to plan effectively for conservation of biological diversity has led to irretrievable losses of ecosystem structure and function or, at least, a need for expensive and risky restoration efforts. In relatively intact systems, planning pro-actively for biological conservation requires a systems approach that integrates the fields of conservation biology and resource management. We evaluate current conservation paradigms and describe an alternative, Conservation-matrix model for regional conservation that exploits the strengths of systematic conservation planning and adaptive resource management. We explore application of this model for boreal regions of Canada, where opportunities for large-scale conservation are virtually unparalleled. Read the full paper Read a 1-page extract Boreal Scientists letter to the Canadian Government,...

Conservation Targets: Do They Help?

Conservation Targets: Do They Help? By Michael E. Soulé & M. A. Sanjayan; Science, New Series, Vol. 279, No. 5359. (Mar. 27, 1998), pp. 2060-2061. The most irreversible environmental problem of this era is the projected rapid loss of biodiversity, including the disappearance of up to half the world’s species. In response, many international commissions and nature conservation organizations have called for the near-term protection of at least 10 or 12% of the total land area in each nation or in each ecosystem. If successful, this campaign would double or triple the land area now designated as national parks or similar strict reserves. We are concerned, however, that these target percentages could become de facto ceilings of protection and imply that protecting 10% or so of the land is sufficient to prevent the predicted major extinction event. >>Read the full...

How Much is Enough?

Center for Large Landscape Conservation; Literature Review on Select Topics in Landscape Conservation; May 27, 2010 How much is enough? What is the minimum area required to ensure the maintenance of biodiversity in an area? A 10 percent (or 12%) conservation target of land area in each nation (Myers 1979, Miller 1984, Soule and Sanjayan 1998) is frequently cited and has been recurrently used in setting policy, though with little biological support. Soule and Sanjayan (1998) interviewed a set of biologists and land managers about this target and most agreed that it was developed for political expediency and was too small to protect biodiversity. Based on published parameters for the species-area relationship, there would be a 50% decline in species with a 90% loss of area. A sample of conservation estimates from published studies with varying biodiversity objectives found that approximately 50% (range: 33 – 75%) of the land area needs to be protected (Soule and Sanjayan 1998). >>Read the full...

Sanctuary Asia article

Nature Needs Half by Vance G. Martin. Published December 2010 in Sanctuary Asia. Because satisfying one’s true needs is essential to assuring survival, stability, and prosperity, Nature Needs Half is a direct response to a rapidly unfolding situation in which human survival, stability and prosperity is the least assured than it has ever been since our ancestors left the trees. >>Read the full...
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