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.


books I've read on failure & grace

The World Without Us
The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Tipping Point
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Mason's favorite books »