Monday, 26 November 2012

Urban Conservation


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Photo Krista Schlyer
Rob McDonald, a senior scientist for The Nature Conservancy, used to hate cities—the concrete jungles and constant din used to stress this plant ecologist out. But today, he and other Conservancy scientists are finding that helping cities—which will add 3 billion people by 2050—grow and function sustainably is key to protecting nature and the benefits it provides people.

What do you think? Should people who care about conservation pay attention to cities? Or do you agree with Thore
au who once said, "In wildness is the preservation of the world"? Share your opinion below.

Read more of Rob's blog posts (including his thoughts on the end of nature, the tenuous relationship between conservation and human rights advocacy, and the Jevons paradox) here.

Comments from the Community

Steve Kemp
The more better we learn to live with the rest of nature in cities, the better we'll learn to live with the rest of nature in our world. People build cities, birds build nests, and we share the same space. We are part of nature, not separate from it, and we need to understand that.

Dominic Smith
Put a city, as it were under a magnifying glass and take this for you. This image is a reflection of what is in the nature of this world are wrong or if we do not do it in the future will look like. A good and healthy environment begins in a city. A city would actually should become part of the nature around a city. It has to be more integrated and can be connected to each other. The city of the future is greener and more sustainable and in harmony with nature. This is the key to a healthy, livable climate and environment.

Yo pienso que para lograr conservar los ecosistemas terrestres y acuáticos, debemos iniciar desde casa y oficina, a partir de nuestra ciudad, haciendo un consumo responsable para cubrir nuestras necesidades. De esta forma buscar disminuir el uso de recursos naturales. Apoyar a las empresas que hacen algún tipo de gestión ambiental, con productos amigables y empaques sustentables. La s construcciones son un factor de ahorro y dismunucion del impacto si estas se diseñan y construyen de forma sustentable. Por eso pienso que para salvar cualquier ser vivo requerimos empezar a cuidar los recursos en las ciudades y educar a nuestros hijos hacia una cultura sostenible.

Dominic Smith
We must be more aware of our environment. We are not above nature, we are part of the nature of the circle of life. "We must not only deal with the nature outside cities, but also with nature in cities. Parks, Urban green, bring nature back into the city. Couple of nature outside the city parks in the city 'ecological structure. Transform old empty buildings into green buildings, integrate it into town green. Make green roofs on buildings. If this city not only helps to become greener and more sustainable, but also to reach as local government climate targets.

Absolutely. People who live in cities live there for certain reasons, whether it is because they have family or a job there or because its more affordable for them to live. Sure it's a wide expanse of impervious surface, typically void of greenery and nature, but the people who live there still need to have access to nature in some fashion. Sometimes green spaces in urban areas, whether they be a small pocket park, grove of trees, or community garden, are valued so much more by the surrounding community than open, rural areas because it is so sparse in urban areas. People will have a greater sense of ownership and pride in these little assets and work twice as hard to see that they are protected. While the need to conserve lands regardless of their location is crucial, I believe there is a far greater challenge and reward in working to conserve green pockets or creating new ones in urban areas. Everyone needs nature in their lives, no matter where you live.

intergration of urban residents in conservation enhance the empowerment of the economy but a fact neglected is that some inhabitants are equipped with knowledge on conservation a rare opportunity with minimal environmental lab in the urban areas, such knowledge induce love for nature and spirit to explore

Eric Burr
Cities are necessary places for us to house overpopulation, until we achieve a steady state ecology through a steady state economy. Thoreau's idea was valid in his time,but Wendell Berry's "In human culture is the preservation of wildness." updates it for current reality. See my Wilderness chapter in Ski Trails and Wildlife.

Sue P.
I believe our first step is to educate people especially our young people about this planet. They are our future and how will they save this planet if they aren't educated. What happen over the years that our schools aren't taking the students outside to teach nature to them? Every school needs to do this, now not later. I read the comment from Nathan and really enjoyed his comments, we need more young people like him to get involved. NOW!!!!!!!!!

Education is paramount, where else can you find more people to educate that cities? Many children who grow up in cities have no idea or understanding what so ever about the natural world around them. Kids love nature and can learn by and through it. Without educating the millions in cities the natural world will suffer even more.

Dana Cole
Has anyone ever considered the huge amounts of energy consumed by radio and tv broadcasters 24/7? When you add in the cost of cooling the transmitters it can be 80,000 watts or more, depending on the stations transmitter power output (not the advertised effective radiated power which can be misleading). Much of what is broadcast is just filler to maintain an on-air presence. I think it would be a good idea for the FCC to require all stations to eventually broadcast only via satellite or the Internet. Uplinking to a satellite only requires about 15-20 watts on average.
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