Thursday, July 8, 2010

Environmental Resource Management: Less can actually be M O R E!

So, The Economist, the lovely publication that I work for currently (in the brand innovation businesses department, not editorial--no I'm not that cool :), published a really well stated article this week about protected areas-i.e. on effective conservation.

Their argument, thanks to Thomas Brooks, a biologist, stated basically that it is not about the size of the area you are conserving, but about the biodiversity and number of different species present in a given area that matters most.

When I was reading the article, I envisioned something like the following: large areas of forest in SouthEast Asia, all as a reserve, whilst a small plot of land near there was delegated for mining of natural resources.  But in fact, it was that small plot of mineral rich land that housed the highest density of species of plants and animals.  So while it was nice that this large area of green space was preserved, the most important area was being mined.

So who came up with the genius idea that less can be more when it comes to conservation?  The Australians of course--the people on that island way over yonder.  They get it.  And here's my uber-complex theory about why.  This is relatively what they are given naturally!  Think about the amount of dry outback lands compared to beach, reef, and forest in Australia.  They understand the value of smaller amount of intensely bio-diverse and lush lands.

And guess what's even more exciting about all of this?  The author of the scientific study citing all of this jazz is arguing that designing smaller reserves around more bio-diverse areas can be more cost efficient. 

Being environmentally intelligent and saving money at the same time!?  Yep, it's pretty. darn. awesome.

Thanks Australia, and of course, to my company for employing me and engaging readers around the world about topics for which I care deeply.

You can see the article here: under our Green.View blog of sorts.

Special added bonus!!  The NatureServe people (Thomas Brooks the biologist works for them outside of DC) have published a really interesting "three-pronged response" tactic to the Gulf Oil Spill disaster (now the largest environmental disaster in recorded history--that's right).

Educate yourself on what's happening, what's not, and what SHOULD be.  Then formulate your own opinion.



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