Too green to fail?
07 Jul 2010
Thomas Brooks, a biologist with NatureServe, a conservation group based in Arlington, Virginia, has long been fighting to preserve biodiversity in the Philippines. Quite often it can feel like a lost cause. Conservation efforts in the country have struggled against ever greater deforestation and decades of environmental neglect. You might think that, when Mr Brooks heard that the Philippine government is considering opening some of its protected areas to mining, it would have been the last straw. Instead, it was an occasion for hope.
According to Theresa Mundita Lim, Director of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, who made the announcement at a meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Nairobi, the move on mining is part of a larger strategy to improve how much biodiversity the government protects. By cutting spending on areas that are lower-priority and instead putting the money where it will be more effective in protecting nature, she hopes to get more impact out of the limited conservation funds available.
A new Australian study, published in Nature provides support for the idea. According to its lead author, Richard Fuller of Queensland University, Australia’s protected areas were designed more systematically than in many other countries in the world.
Read the rest on the Economist website.