"Protect biodiversity hot spots and the rest will follow"

"Wilson believes that too much emphasis has been placed on trying to reduce energy consumption and avert climate change—what he calls the “physical environment”—and too little on preserving habitat and biodiversity, or the “living environment.” For Wilson, preserving the living environment means protecting areas of the world with the most concentrated biodiversity. He also believes that poverty is a critical factor that needs to be addressed to achieve a sustainable world. Freelance science writer Diana Steele excerpted his remarks..."

"The central problem of the new century … and the one that’s going to count big time, long-term, is how to raise the poor to a global quality of life while preserving as much of the natural world as possible. Both the poor and biological diversity are concentrated together in the developing countries. The solution to this problem has to flow from the recognition that both depend on the other. The poor … have little chance to improve their lives in a devastated environment. Conversely, the natural environment where most of the biodiversity hangs on cannot survive the press of land-hungry people who have nowhere else to go.…
This is a problem that can be solved; the resources to solve it exist..."

Tags: Wilson, biodiversity, conservation, sustainability

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Connie,

I often wonder, when I read these kinds of things about the two-way process. Finding a true global quality (qualities? - there may be many measures and realities of quality of life) of life may need a change from rich consumptionism (even the cure for our woes - we're in economic trouble, folks, we'll have to SPEND our way out!) as well as a shift in LDCs. Ronald Sider, decades ago wrote Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger - still readable, still relevant (and as ideologically neutral as most other books we read!)

I always agree that the resources to solve the real problem exist. The first resource is between the ears - mind, heart, perceptions and values. Then there's all the technical stuff possible as well...
This is a problem that can be solved; the resources to solve it exist.

In addition to between the ears ; ), I wonder what specifically can/should be done now to protect these "hot spots"? I've seen a nature show or two about indigenous people living with endangered species in Africa and reaping the economic benefits of eco-tourism to offset, say, the loss of cattle, but what else is on the agenda?


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