We’re losing species at shocking rates – so why is conservation failing?

September 23, 2019


The number of mammals, insects, amphibians, fish and birds is in steep decline, the world’s forests are on fire and the abundance of life is diminishing at rates unprecedented in human history. The TV screens are full of images of gorgeous wildlife but one million plant and animal species are threatened with extinction and governments appear paralysed.

Faced with stark and mounting evidence of nature’s precipitous decline, leading natural and social science researchers, philosophers, anthropologists and conservationists have come together to ask why conservation is failing, and to call for an urgent re-think of how the natural world should be protected.

So what is conservation getting wrong? The political reasons for its failure were discussed last week in Vienna, at a meeting of 70 academics, professionals and researchers at the Luc Hoffmann Institute, a research body set up by the WWF.

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