“The only way to solve Earth’s biodiversity and create a truly sustainable world is to take a giant leap. The goal then should be to raise the area reserved for natural species and ecosystems from 15% land and 3% of the sea to one half of the land and one half of the sea.” That’s E.O. Wilson speaking at the World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i earlier this year.
Wilson is not alone. In 2012, the The International Wilderness Leadership Foundation took out a trademark on the slogan “Nature Needs Half”. On the Nature Needs Half website is the following explanation of the proposal:
Nature Needs Half™ is a science-based and common-sense vision of a relationship between people and nature that ensures enough natural areas of land and water are protected and interconnected – and of sufficient size and resiliency – to provide life-supporting ecosystem and biodiversity services that are essential to both human health and prosperity and a bountiful, beautiful legacy of wild nature.
A recent paper titled, “Half-Earth or Whole Earth? Radical ideas for conservation, and their implications”, published in Oryx, aims to open up debate about the idea of turning half the planet into protected areas. The authors are Bram Büscher, Robert Fletcher, Dan Brockington, Chris Sandbrook,.
They agree with the Half-Earth proponents that there is an urgent need to address the current unprecedented rate of biodiversity loss. However, they argue for a different way of addressing the problem.