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Commentary: "Nature Needs Half" & meeting human needs are complementary goals

Must nature and civilization be opposing interests? Is nature conservation anti-people? What must be preserved to preserve what needs preserving? Is there a single path that can reverse the three crises of apocalypse: the extinction crisis, the toxics crisis, and the climate crisis? Sixteen ecologists, including me, think the answer to that last question is yes. We explain why in a recent ideas-driven paper. Our overall position is the title: “Protecting Half the Planet and Transforming Human Systems are Complementary Goals.”

The premise of the paper, published last month in Frontiers in Conservation Science, is that greatly expanded protections of wild things and wild places and major downsizing of humanity’s footprint are crucial to stabilize climate and stanch species losses (now estimated at a rate around 1,000 times historic norms).

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