Last week, a global scientific assessment found the business-as-usual approach to conservation is not delivering the critical action needed to safeguard the future health of our planet. Over the last 30 years, a growing global population has doubled the demand on our planet’s resources, according to the report, which was released by the United Nations, and nature just can’t keep up: As many as 1 million species are threatened with extinction in the coming decades.
This is a threat well understood by the people of my island, the small Pacific territory of Guam. In the last few decades alone, development and invasives have led to the extinction of the Guam flying fox and several species of bird found nowhere else in the world. These were animals critical to our forest ecosystems and important to our indigenous culture, lost forever.
But all is not lost. The report identified several pathways for change, including the need to expand the current network of protected areas, both on land and in the ocean, which are critically important in the context of a changing climate. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates that we’ll need to protect at least 30... Read more