The Ecological Citizen

A free-to-access publication confronting human supremacy in defence of the Earth



What is 'Nature Needs Half'? (A definition)


Nature Needs Half, and the closely related Half-Earth project, are campaigns calling for at least 50% of the Earth's land and sea to be safeguarded for nature protection, with good representation across all major kinds of ecosystem. The target of 50%, it is thought, would offer a long-term future for around 85% of species. (An ethic respecting all life demands that humans go substantially beyond this first target.)

By championing protected areas, the campaigns acknowledge that habitat destruction and over-exploitation of wild beings are the two major forces driving the unfolding mass extinction of life on Earth.

It is important to note that these campaigns are not calling for the exclusion of humans from large areas of the Earth's surface. Rather, they note that projected areas can range from places that are uninhabited to those in which humans are very much a part of the landscape but practise truly sustainable livelihoods. What protected areas cannot support, however, is the kind of human presence that simplifies ecosystems and destroys the life around it.

* * * * *

For further reading, including a description of the research underpinning the argument that 50% protects 85% of species, see: Wilson E (2017) Half-Earth, Liveright.



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