The pristine wilderness of the global wilderness is disappearing fast. The question is will we able to save some of it from annihilation in the nick of time.
The forests and savannahs of the world are being wiped out at breakneck speed. This is obviously not a good sign. The thing is not that trees lend a scenic view to the general order but that tons of life forms dwell among this greenery.
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Climate change is warded off too thanks to this wilderness which regulates the temperature. The local economy of every nation is dependent upon crops, livestock and mining done from this vast cornucopia lent by Nature on trust that it won’t be ruined. Yet that is precisely what is happening today right before our very eyes.
Wild places cannot be brought up in isolation. They are holistic things which depend on all that surrounds them for sustenance. When mankind destroys the wilderness found in Nature he is just asking for it.
Since the 1990s, the last 10% of the wilderness reserves left behind are being destroyed too. The assumption that wilderness areas were not prone to damage by man-made jarring shocks remained just that: a myth. The erosion since the 90s has not stopped and now it is a cause for rising alarmism.
The sort of thinking which assumes that wilderness remains just the way it is thanks to being left alone is naïve and unrealistic. This model of the Sahara Desert or Siberia being prime examples of wilderness areas is just not true.
The fact that we are losing wilderness at a rapid pace means that by now over 1.2 million square miles of this pristine land has been lost. This took place in the past 20 years. Only 850,000 square miles of wilderness has been given the protection it deserved.
Man’s footprint on Nature remains an indelible one. Satellites and surveys showed that when we paved roads, laid railway tracks, found new water routes, installed power cables and built entire metropolises from the ground up there was a reduction of the natural setup.
Automatically, those areas left untouched by the Midas Touch of man came under the category of wilderness. Today only 23% of the land in the world is what we can rightfully call wilderness.
That is a 10% reduction since the past 20 years. While establishing novel areas of pristine wilderness may help, it seems it is a little late to do something about this SNAFU we find ourselves in at the present moment.
The findings of this study got published in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on September 8, 2016.