Humanity has eliminated more than half the world’s large animals, on land and at sea, in just the last 40 years. Dozens of species vanishing every day due to the pressure of  human activity, in an event now known as the Sixth Extinction. As one of the world’s greatest biologist, E. O. Wilson, warns “We are tearing down the biosphere” – the very thing that supports life on this Planet, including ourselves. Or as young environmentalist Bindi Irwin succinctly puts it “If you keep on pulling one brick after another out of your house, eventually the house falls down.”

To reverse this process we need to re-wild large regions of our Planet which have hitherto been cleared for cities, farming and other forms of development, to reverse the processes of desertification, the loss of forests, grasslands, coral reefs and other essential landscapes. 

One approach being discussed widely is to move half the world’s food production into cities using intensive methods which recycle nutrients and water, and then ‘re-wild’ 24 million sq kms (an area the size of North America) under the management of indigenous people and farmers. The remainder is managed under the concept known as eco-agriculture and carbon farming.

Another is to progressively gradually replace mining with mineral recycling, and cease releasing the toxins and plastics that are destroying wildlife.

Approaches such as these need to become mainstream in the world's social and political discourse, whereas at present they scarcely rate a mention.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
359241786Click/tap this sequence: 5624

Australia21This website was commenced by a group of Members of The Emeritus Faculty at The Australian National University and is administered by a steering group of the not-for profit think tank, Australia21. The views expressed on this website are those of the initial author and are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the University, the Emeritus Faculty or Australia21.

Please select the link to see further details about the steering group.