Why nature needs half

26 September 2013 | Article

In this preview paper for issue 19.2 of PARKS: The International Journal of Protected Areas and Conservation, conservationist, writer and photographer Harvey Locke argues that we need to “assert nature’s needs fearlessly” by setting aside at least half of the world’s, land and water, for protected areas.

The paper is being released as conservationists and a diverse spectrum of peoples and communities prepare to gather for WILD 10 – the 10th World Wilderness Congress, which will be held from 4 – 10 October in Salamanca, Spain. The Congress seeks to “make the world a wilder place” through collaboration aimed towards practical results for people and wild nature. It is one of several international gatherings towards the end of 2013, including the 1st Asia Parks Congress, IMPAC 3 and the 9th Pacific Islands on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas, which will serve as a valuable lead-in to next year’s IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.

In his paper, Nature needs half: a necessary and hopeful new agenda for protected areas, Locke challenges us all to move the current protected areas agenda forward. He argues that committing 50 per cent for nature is the only way of guaranteeing successful conditions for supporting life on earth. The paper will be included in the next issue of PARKS due out in early November just before the first Asia Parks Congress gets underway in Japan from 13 - 17 of the same month.