The Ecological Citizen: A peer-reviewed ecocentric journal

Long article

Nature needs half: Implications for population, consumption and inequality in the 'other half'

Gregory M Mikkelson

The Ecological Citizen Vol 3 Suppl A 2019: 87–91

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First published: 12 November 2019  |  Permanent URL  |  Download citation in RIS format


Conservation biologists have called on human society to give half the Earth back as natural habitat for our fellow species. This idea has prompted debates about population size, economic production and per capita consumption, and the distribution of conservation's benefits and burdens, in the 'other half'. This paper reviews some key aspects of these debates, and presents an empirical analysis of the relative importance of population versus per capita consumption as drivers of environmental impact. It concludes by asserting an overall synergy, rather than any fundamental trade-off, between the half-Earth and de-growth movements.



Ecological ethics, Overpopulation, Protected areas, Sixth mass extinction