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What works in conservation? In-depth series starts next week

15 / 09 / 2017, Mongabaycom News

How do you solve a conservation problem? Do you protect a wild leopard that has entered a village by removing it and releasing it into a forest far, far away? Or do you work with the people living in the village and help them live with the leopards and other wildlife that might stray into their backyards? Do you save a patch of tropical forest by declaring it a protected area and keeping people out? Or do you let local communities take charge? The answers to these questions are, as might be expected, not straightforward. But we do need answers. The endangered Indochinese lutung (Trachypithecus germaini) is native to Southeast Asia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler. We are in the middle of what some scientists call a “sixth mass extinction” event. Our planet is losing species at least 100 times faster than historical levels. Halting this ongoing human-induced extinction will be neither easy nor cheap. Nearly every country has committed to reducing the loss of globally threatened species and protecting their habitats under the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) 2020 biodiversity targets. This would cost about $80 billion per year, scientists estimated in 2012. But the overall picture is poor, CBD noted in its 2016 report. With just three years left, most countries have made “inadequate progress” in achieving the 2020 targets and have “weak levels of future ambition” to do so, the report found. Funding for conservation, too, is becoming increasingly scarce. So figuring out how to spend this money — prioritizing…

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