8 of the Greatest Conservation Triumphs of the Last 50 Years

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A new study asserts that the epidemic of global species loss that we're experiencing right now is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy -- and that in order to turn the tide, we must focus on the conservation triumphs that have been made possible over the years. In order to stress the success of the conservation movement, the researchers pointed to 8 of the greatest achievements in protecting wildlife over the last 50 years. And so, in a time when despair over species loss often outruns hope, here's reason to be optimistic:

  • South Korea, almost denuded after the Korean War, now boasts forest cover across more than 63 percent of the country.
  • In Namibia, wildlife populations are increasing.
  • South Africa has completed a major expansion of Kruger National Park.
  • Iraqi engineers have reflooded the Tigris-Euphrates marshes.
  • Pioneering legislation has slowed species loss around the world, including the Bird Directive of the EU, the Habitats Directive of the EU, and the US Endangered Species Act of 1973.
  • In Australia, large-scale land clearing has been halted and most of the rainforest in the country is now contained within World Heritage sites.
  • The largest marine protected area in the world was recently enacted by one of the poorest nations on Earth, Kiribati.
  • The Antarctic Treaty has conserved more than 14 percent of our global land area--18 million square kilometers/6.5 million square miles--for longer than 50 years.

(Via Mother Jones

Read the full study here, and read my take on the subject in greater depth here.