As Indigenous writers such as Robin Wall Kimmerer show in Braiding Sweetgrass, indigenous people have much to teach us about holistic thinking, the use of social controls to curtail greed, and how to live with the rest of nature.
Great outcomes can come even when people have very different values and politics if they work together in a principled and collaborative way—not one side trying to educate or change the other but co-designing what change looks like and how they will each play their part to deliver it.
In early May, Ecuador’s National Assembly voted to declare June 23rdDía Nacional de los Páramos, or National Páramo Day. This designation at once recognizes the importance of these high mountain grasslands and underscores the need for improved conservation efforts.
American environmentalism’s racist roots have influenced global conservation practices. Most notably, they are embedded in longstanding prejudices against local communities and a focus on protecting pristine wildernesses.
If problems are cyclical so are solutions. In an attempt to resolve the long-standing feud between ranchers and environmentalists, a small group of us decided in the late 1990s to find a ‘third way’ beyond the polarization. Our goal was to implement practical, on-the-ground goals through collaboration, not confrontation.
I don’t know where we are going – no one does really – and I don’t know what we will find ultimately in this unprecedented new world, but I do know something about the early days of the voyage and have thoughts and experiences to share.
In a new study titled “A Global Deal for Nature,” led by conservation biologist and strategist Eric Dinerstein, 17 colleagues and I lay out a road map for simultaneously averting a sixth mass extinction and reducing climate change.
Traveling to Europe in the summer of 2016 to research my book, I discovered flourishing new osprey populations. Artificial nest sites – supports built mostly in trees to stabilize existing nests and encourage new ones – were plentiful and packed with young ospreys ready to fledge.
After nineteen chapters of amiable good sense, Wilson suddenly goes full ecomodernist, as if some devilish Breakthrough Institute hacker finally figured out how to make him stop his anti-Anthropocene agitating by messing with his neurons like a cordyceps fungus attacking one of his beloved ants.
Executive Order 13795, issued by President Donald Trump in April 2017, opened a review process on newly expanded territories within marine sanctuaries, meaning that areas expanded by previous administrations could be opened up for resource extraction. A period of public comment on this review closed in early August; no decisions have been announced and there is no indication that Cordell Bank has been targeted, but the action serves as a reminder that protected areas could face future threats.
Between them, Doug and Kris Tompkins spent the last 25 years working on one of the most ambitious conservation and rewilding projects on Earth, creating protected national parks in vulnerable areas of Chile and Argentina to provide a vital refuge for endangered wildlife at a time when the human demands on the non-human world increase daily.
Knowledge and ethics, neither without the other, I suddenly saw, are the key to good land stewardship.