We need a revolution in conservation


Current conservation orthodoxies do little to protect the Earth, says Professor Brian Moss

The Biologist Vol 61(1) p8-9

Living in Europe has cultural pleasures, but natural limitations. Our continent is so dominated by people that our concepts of how our planet functions are seriously biased. We live in a land where the former connectedness of all natural systems has largely been obliterated. This blinds our ability to plan for the future and we promote mediocrity in our landscapes through our conservation legislation.

Starting with the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949 and continuing with the EU Habitats Directive of 1992, we seek in the UK mostly to preserve postage stamps of traditional grassland agriculture. Instead we should be thinking of a future beset by climate change, where if we start re-establishing forest and wetland systems for carbon storage and water conservation, things may be a little less uncomfortable. We need to think in terms of ecosystem function first and individual species conservation second.

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