The plan to turn half the world into a reserve for nature

Exposing the Big Game

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(Image credit:Getty Images)

Nature is going through a mass extinction as habitats are changed beyond recognition by human activity (Credit: Getty Images)

By Jim Robbins18th March 2020FromYale e360

Scientists and conservationists are proposing that up to half of Earth’s land and oceans be protected for nature. Is it a necessary step or a pipe dream?


As humans continue to rapidly expand the scope of their domination of nature – bulldozing and burning down forests and other natural areas, wiping out species, and breaking down ecosystem functions – a growing number of influential scientists and conservationists think that protecting half of the planet in some form is going to be key to keeping it habitable.

The idea first received public attention in 2016 when E.O. Wilson, the legendary 90-year-old conservation biologist, published the idea in his bookHalf Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life.“We now have enough measurements of extinction rates…

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