Acting for Habitat and Species

Section
7. Stop Further Loss of Natural Habitat and Species
Page
7.9

Everything in T10 is designed either to increase the protection of habitat and species, or reduce the pressures on same. As such, actions outlined in each of the 10 sections will – directly or indirectly – make a significant contribution. This said, these actions are of a general nature and more specific measures need to be presented here. As per webpage 7.8, ‘Conclusion – Future Goals’, these can be divided into the three broad categories of land use/’naturalness’ on earth and the broad accompanying steps required: protect what we have left, repair the damage, and build a better relationship with the natural world.

(a) (i) Protect what we have left: habitat

Action Agenda commitments (cbd.int)

The Convention for Biological Diversity website has a list of 350 actions/commitments by organisations and individuals which can be assessed for relevance, either through location, Aichi Targets, or description. A sample for one such project is enclosed: conservation of the Serro Do Mar Biodiversity Corridor in Brazil. Contacts are given so details, interest and suitability for support can be evaluated further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

E.O. Wilson was a champion of biodiversity through a long and highly productive life as an entomologist, science communicator, and conservationist (sadly, he died in 2021, at the age of 92).

The website for the Foundation is a mine of information on all things biodiversity, but of particular interest to us is their ‘Half-Earth Project’ which aims to protect approximately half the earth so that 85% or more of its lifeforms can survive. A short (2 minutes 47 seconds) video explaining the project can be watched here – E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation » Half-Earth Project (eowilsonfoundation.org) – and an ingenious interactive map explored showing global biodiversity, protected areas, human pressures and ‘Where to Preserve Next’ (priority biodiversity areas not currently protected): Half Earth Map (half-earthproject.org) .

Here is a close-up of Borneo/Kalimantan (which we examined in 7.3 ‘Land Clearing’) from the map of protected areas and priority biodiversity areas: protected areas are mid-green and rounded in shape, and priority biodiversity areas are all the other shades of green, from aqua to blue-green to yellow (yellow and light green is highest priority) and they are pixelated shapes. This is a tool to guide further research and focus for conservation efforts. The Foundation can be supported with donations here: https://eowilsonfoundation.networkforgood.com/projects/109460-fulfilling-the-promise-of-half-earth .

 

There is a number of other NGOs worldwide working to protect habitat and species, on public and private land. One of the largest is The Nature Conservancy (TNC).

The TNC has an extremely large project and land portfolio and any number of these are worth following up. Reproduced here is their map of ‘Resilient and Connected Landscapes’ in the U.S. – Resilient and Connected Landscapes (arcgis.com) – and these are areas and TNC reserves that they believe have good prospects for resilience re future  climate, and form part of strategic, connected, systems. You can click on a number and get a run-down on particular sites/reserves, e.g. #16 highlighted.

There is a variety of ways people can contribute, from volunteering, to becoming a member, to donating. Their ‘Take Action’ page can be accessed here:

https://preserve.nature.org/page/80352/action/1

The Wyss Foundation has pledged $1.5 billion for its Campaign for Nature whose “goal is to help conserve 30% of the planet in a natural state by the year 2030 by creating and expanding protected areas, establishing more ambitious international conservation targets, investing in science, and inspiring conservation action around the world.”

This is a serious sum of money that can – hopefully – make real and urgent impact. To check their progress, go to Projects — Wyss Campaign for Nature . To sign their petition, go to: https://www.campaignfornature.org/petition .

The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) works to secure habitat and species. Here is an example of a ‘habitat’ project: Thirty Hills “WWF and partners are securing protection for a critical rain forest in Sumatra. Thirty Hills is one of the last places on Earth where elephants, tigers and orangutans coexist in the wild.”

Their ‘Action Centre’ page has many ideas on how to get involved, varying from volunteering, to lobbying, to signing petitions, to donating, and more: Take Action – Join Our Activist Network | World Wildlife Fund .

In addition, all of Section 4, ‘Work, Volunteer, Act for Nature’ contains information and links to assist engagement and action for the natural world.

(a)(ii) Protect what we have left: species

Animal lover and conservationist, Lori Robinson, recommends the following 20 organisations for your ‘wildlife support’1. The list is worldwide, but has an African focus. I cannot verify the list, but think it is a good starting point. 20 Trust Worthy NGO’s for your Wildlife Donations – Saving Wild .

(Save The Elephants. Iain Douglas-Hamilton)

One of the listed NGOs is ‘Save The Elephants’, founded in 1993 by Iain Douglas-Hamilton who has devoted his life to the elephants of East Africa and about whom webpage 1.3.9, ‘Books’, is devoted. You can become an intern, spread the word, or donate to their fine work at: https://www.savetheelephants.org/ .

 

 

 

 

Humane Society International seeks to confront cruelty to animals by working at all scales, from individuals, to populations, to habitat. One can assist their work by going to their ‘How You Can Help’ page here: https://www.hsi.org/how-you-can-help/ .

WWF, as well as dealing with habitat (see above), addresses species and populations directly. Here is an example of their work:

To support their work, go to: Take Action – Join Our Activist Network | World Wildlife Fund .

 

 

 

TRAFFIC’s goal is “a world where wildlife trade conserves wild species, habitats, and contributes to sustainable human development.” An example of one of their projects is their work to save Pangolins (reproduced below), now considered to be the most ‘trafficked’ mammal in the world.

Go to https://www.traffic.org/ to support their work.

 

(b) Repair the damage

While most of the work mentioned in part (a) was for habitat and species within the 25% of the globe that is still largely ‘natural’, part (b) looks to work in the transitional/in-between 25% of the earth that has aspects of Nature remaining, but is often degraded and degrading; urgent repair through protection, re-stocking, water allocation, revegetation, erosion, weed and pest control, and more, is needed to halt further decline and commence renewal.

We saw in webpage 7.5 how important a threat invasive species are, but unfortunately, there are few dedicated agencies or NGOs addressing this; if activity does occur, it tends to be via general land-management activities. Despite this, an example of a dedicated NGO is the following from Australia, and I hope that similar can be found in your location.

Their goal is to: “protect Australia’s cherished natural places and wildlife from invasive species.” An example of their projects is the following on Yellow Crazy Ants – one of the world’s top 100 worst invasive species – Yellow crazy ants in Australia (invasives.org.au).

Here is their ‘How to Help’ page – How to help – Invasive Species Council, and donations can be made also.

 

There is a raft of excellent revegetation, treeplanting, land and sea-restoration groups around the world – too numerous to mention – but examples are given in Section 4.4, ‘Volunteer’. Below is one of the oldest and best known globally, as reviewed by Dennis Kamprad2 9 Best Charities for Planting Trees (Complete 2022 List) | Impactful Ninja :

“Originally known as ‘Men of Trees’, the International Tree Foundation (ITF) was established in 1992 by the first global conservationist Richard ‘St Barbe’ Barker. Based in the United Kingdom, the non-profit has inspired and fuelled the global environmental and reforestation movement for years.

Their impact and transparency ratings: ITF is a registered non-profit and releases its financial reports annually. As of 2019, 87% of its income was spent on charity projects, and 13% contributed to fundraising. 

What they do: Planting trees all over Africa and the UK, ITF works closely with the local community to create sustainable programs and lifestyles for families. Their work includes funding for restoration and education of the African drylands and preserving and planting indigenous trees.

What they’ve achieved: ITF have supported and funded 26 environmental programs across Africa, including Ghana, Rwanda, and Uganda. In 2020, it planted 805,873 trees and aims to plant 900,000 more trees by 2021. In the UK, ITF is initiating a program to support the community’s mental well-being by bringing members together through nature.

Ways to contribute: You can support this non-profit by making direct donations to aid their work or join the trees movement by becoming a member. If there are vacancies available, you can also lend your time as a volunteer.”

Prince Charles came up with the idea for this most excellent ‘reclamation project’ in 2012. It serves as a fine example of what can be done for one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems – grasslands.

“My Coronation Meadows idea came to me when I read Plantlife’s 2012 report and fully appreciated just how many wildflower meadows had been lost over the past 60 years (MF note: 97% in the last 75 years!).

This year, we are celebrating my mother’s coronation so surely there is no better moment to end this destruction and to stimulate a new mood to protect our remaining meadows and to use them as springboards for the restoration of other sites and the creation of new meadows right across the UK.”

HRH The Prince of Wales, March 2013

Coronation Meadows has three aims, as per their website – Coronation Meadows:
i) “Celebrating our surviving meadows – identifying a flagship Coronation Meadow  in each county in Britain (MF note: and more: 90 meadows have been created so far). These “jewels in the crown” are places where people can enjoy a riot of colour and an abundance of wildlife in settings that have remained largely unchanged since the Coronation.

ii) Creating new meadows at ‘recipient’ sites in the same county, using the Coronation Meadows as source or ‘donor’ meadows to provide seed. In this way, new Coronation Meadows will be created, increasing the area of this valuable habitat, providing new homes for bees, butterflies and other pollinators and helping to secure our wild flower heritage for the next 60 years and beyond.

(Coronation Meadows. Muker Meadow, UK).

iii) Encouraging people to discover meadows local to them; to visit and enjoy them, celebrate their beauty, recognise their importance and to get involved with their conservation. The project will work with a wide range of partners, land owners and managers, conservation organisations and volunteer groups.”

You can participate in the project in various ways, from locating and mapping meadows, to volunteering to assist management, to donating (go to website above).

 

(c) Build a better Nature-human relationship, particularly in the highly modified 50% of the world

This is of such importance that the entire Section 1 of T10 is devoted to it, with 100 examples provided of ways people have understood, misunderstood, and celebrated their relationship with Nature.

As such, little more will be provided here, but a little example that I saw just the other day (April 2022), on TV, highlighted for me the pleasure and richness of meaning that can be gained from reaching out to the natural world, even from unpromising surrounds, such as an urban backyard in highly industrial Sheffield in northern England. Here, George and Sophie, introduce their wildlife garden on the BBC’s fine ‘Gardeners’ World’; I strongly suggest you watch it: BBC Two – Gardeners’ World, 2021, Episode 21 . (Potential problem: there is a copyright issue with accessing BBC videos in Australia; I hope the same is not so for you).

More accessible than the BBC site for some will be George’s own site – Smallwood Bees – YouTube – where one can follow the story of his wildlife garden(s). An example is presented here of a four-minute clip of George describing his ‘bug house fence’.

 

1 Robinson, L. 2013. 20 Trustworthy NGOs for your Wildlife Donations. Dec. 5th. Lori Wild <20 Trust Worthy NGO’s for your Wildlife Donations – Saving Wild>

2 Kamprad, D. 2022. 9 Best Charities for Planting Trees. Impactful Ninja. <https://impactful.ninja/best-charities-for-planting trees/#:~:text=%20These%20Are%20the%209%20Best%20Charities%20for,as%20Men%20of%20Trees%2C%20th>

 

Note: It is impossible to know the integrity of thousands of NGOs, agencies, charities and groups, but wherever possible I have tried to list examples of those that are genuine in their concern for Nature, and focussed and effective in their actions.

Explore Other Natural Habitat and Species

7.1 Introduction

New York is an exciting, mesmerising place. Human culture is extraordinary and often wonderful. Our powers of transformation of the natural world seem limitless. The trouble is, we don’t seem to be able to stop, let alone want to stop. How far ...

7.2 State of Habitat

The Worldwide Fund for Nature’s exceptional ‘Living Planet Report 2020’1, Fig. 19 – reproduced below, attempts to show the global distribution of highly modified, largely natural, and in-between habitats. The dark green areas approximat...

7.3 Threats: Land Clearing and Direct Habitat Loss

This is the big one. As pointed out in 7.1 and 7.2 it accounts for over half of all population declines (see Figure 5, webpage 7.2) of native species and is as obvious as it is crude. We burn, chop, bulldoze, log, graze, and drain remaining habita...

7.4 Threats: Species Overexploitation

After land clearing and direct habitat loss, the next biggest threat for native species is overexploitation. It accounts for approximately 24% of declines1 (see webpage 7.2, figures 4 and 5) and can be as simple and direct as overhuntin...

7.5 Threats: Invasive Species and Diseases

Again, strangely, an unfashionable topic for modern environmentalism, but nonetheless, third on the list of threats to the natural world, with an average score across regions of 13%  (to recap: #1 is habitat loss at 50% and #2 is exploitation of s...

7.6 Threats: Fire

Running across and through almost all threats to habitat is fire. Whether indirectly, through clearing, draining and ‘opening up’ of the bush, and as a result of climate change, or directly, through the deliberate lighting of fires, we are seeing ...

7.7 Threats: Erasing Nature from the Mind

I am going to help you here before you make a terrible faux pas and condemn yourself as a “morally repugnant”  ‘conservationist’, or worse, an old-fashioned ‘preservationist’. You cannot see this picture of the Peruvian Amazon. Look awa...

7.8 Habitat and Species Protection Goals

The most relevant international goals for habitat and species protection for the latest decade, 2010-20, were the so-called ‘Aichi goals’. (‘Aichi’, because the location where the UN Convention on Biological Diversity was signed by 193 signatory n...

7.9 Acting for Habitat and Species

Everything in T10 is designed either to increase the protection of habitat and species, or reduce the pressures on same. As such, actions outlined in each of the 10 sections will – directly or indirectly – make a significant contribution. This sai...

7.10 The Future

Jorgen Randers was one of the authors of the seminal ‘Limits to Growth’ in 19721, as well as the 30-year update published in 20042. In 2012 he published ‘2052 – A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years’3. It woul...

Explore Other Sections

1. Build the Nature-Human Relationship
1. Build the Nature-Human Relationship 1.1 Articles 1.2 Art Installations 1.3 Books 1.4 Buildings 1.5 Film, Documentaries, Podcasts 1.6 Music 1.7 Paintings 1.8 Photographs 1.9 Poems 1.10 Spiritual Responses
1/11

1. Build the Nature-Human Relationship

This section is designed to foster appreciation and insight that will – hopefully – lead to novel ways to build a better relationship between human beings and Nature. This section is also atypical ...
2. Reduce Consumption
2. Reduce Consumption

2. Reduce Consumption

I hope Reneé Descartes would forgive us for saying that, at least for the modern world, he was wrong.  When, in 1637, he said: “I think, therefore I am”, he could not have anticipated that the majo...
3. Replace God of Growth with God of Quality
3. Replace God of Growth with God of Quality

3. Replace God of Growth with God of Quality

In a supposedly secular age there has arisen a global religion and god like never before, a religion whose reach and power makes every other belief system before it seem pitiful and insignificant: ...
4. Work, Volunteer, Act for the Environment
4. Work, Volunteer, Act for the Environment

4. Work, Volunteer, Act for the Environment

What we do in our day-to-day lives can have great impact. Section Four divides up these actions into three groups – Work (4.2 & 4.3), Volunteering (4.4), and Action, e.g. voting, protesting, et...
5. Reduce Population
5. Reduce Population

5. Reduce Population

Even on top of Mt. Everest, in one of the remotest, most difficult places on earth, there is a great traffic-jam of people jostling for position. And yet, ever more vociferously, we deny that overp...
6. Ensure Media Acknowledgement of Environmental Context
6. Ensure Media Acknowledgement of Environmental Context

6. Ensure Media Acknowledgement of Environmental Context

The media is one of the three, great ‘poles’ of power in the world (alongside political and corporate power) and how they frame and present ‘the environment’ has a profound effect on how we respond...
7. Stop Further Loss of Natural Habitat and Species
7. Stop Further Loss of Natural Habitat and Species

7. Stop Further Loss of Natural Habitat and Species

New York is an exciting, mesmerising place. Human culture is extraordinary and often wonderful. Our powers of transformation of the natural world seem limitless. The trouble is, we don’t seem to be...
8. Assist Energy Descent and Transition
8. Assist Energy Descent and Transition

8. Assist Energy Descent and Transition

Our current energy largesse is an extraordinary ‘gift’, an unprecedented gift of the ages; millions of years to produce and from millions of years ago. Coal, oil and gas, forming...
9. Support New, Environmentally-Aware, Economic Systems
9. Support New, Environmentally-Aware, Economic Systems

9. Support New, Environmentally-Aware, Economic Systems

Just as with the previous section – ‘Energy’ – which is, inescapably, all about fossil fuels so pre-eminent and extraordinary has been their dominance and transformation of the world in the last 20...
10. Reduce Wastes to the Rate of Natural Assimilation
10. Reduce Wastes to the Rate of Natural Assimilation

10. Reduce Wastes to the Rate of Natural Assimilation

Section 10 will attempt to organise this enormous topic by addressing the context and status of pollution in 10.2, before focussing in on air pollution; particularly greenhouse gas pollution and cl...