Humans have eliminated 10% of world’s wilderness over past 20 years, Analysis finds

Humans have eliminated 10% of world’s wilderness over past 20 years, Analysis finds

A latest analysis has found that in the last two decades, which is very minute part in our species’ 200,000-year existence, humans have wiped off 10% of Earth’s wilderness.

The authors mentioned that globally the ‘catastrophic declines’ in wilderness region over the past 20 years add up to nearly 1.27 million square miles, which means a region almost double of Alaska’s size.

Amazon has been affected the worst, losing 30% of its wilderness region since the early 1990s. Central Africa has lost 14% of the total wilderness area.

Published on Thursday in the journal Current Biology, the study has strengthened the prevailing proof that humans have a devastating impact on the nature around.

This week, in an interview at the world’s largest conservation event, the study main author James Watson, director of science and research initiatives at the Wildlife Conservation Society, called his own findings as ‘bloody dramatic’ and ‘shocking’.

Watson said, “I consider it like species extinction. When last individual of population of species disappears, that’s extinction. Wilderness loss is the same thing? You can’t get it back. It will return as something else, but you are losing system that has evolved for millions of years”.

During the study, Watson and his team noted down the wilderness areas around the globe. Further, they compared their map with the one produced in the early 1990s.

What they came across was shocking. They discovered that rate of loss was roughly double the rate of existing protection efforts, highlighting how badly and instantly the world needs international policies to take into notice the important values of wilderness and extraordinary threats faced by them.

In terms of the study, ‘wilderness’ is defined as biologically and ecologically largely intact landscapes with almost zero human disturbances.


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