The Last Of The Wild: Only 5 Countries Hold 70% Of The Planet’s Wilderness

The Last Of The Wild: Only 5 Countries Hold 70% Of The Planet’s Wilderness
A rainforest in South America, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

“Already we have lost so much,” say researchers about Earth’s wilderness

OT Staff
November 21 , 2018
02 Min Read

As per recent research, only five countries in the world contain 70 per cent of the planet’s remaining wilderness areas.

A study titled ‘Protect the last of the wild’ published in the journal Nature has drawn global attention to the fact that Earth’s intact ecosystems are in critical danger of disappearance. 

According to the study, which has been produced by the University of Queensland (UQ) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), “more than 77% of land (excluding Antarctica) and 87% of the ocean has been modified by the direct effects of human activities.” Land has been significantly affected by human settlement, farming, mining, and the ocean has been impacted by pollution, industrial fishing, and pollution, among many other causes.

A map depicting the remaining wilderness in the worldThe data shows that 94 % of the untouched wilderness (both terrestrial and marine) is left only in twenty countries, excluding Antarctica and the high seas. Out of this, a staggering 70 % is present in just 5 countries in the world. These include Alaska, Canada, Brazil, Botswana and Australia and specifically the Arctic tundra of Alaska, Boreal forest of Canada, Amazon rainforest in the South Americas, Okavango Delta in Botswana and the desert region of Australia.’

Why are these spaces important? The report reveals that these remaining wilderness areas are “increasingly important buffers against the effects of climate change and other human impacts.” In addition, there are the only places than contain mixes species at near-natural levels of abundance. “They are important reservoirs of genetic information, and act as reference areas for efforts to re-wild degraded land and seascapes,” it says.

As per the report, this has not been explicitly targetted in any international policy framework, including the United Nations’ Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and the Paris climate agreement.

The researchers are asking for international attention to be given to the protection of these untouched wilderness areas, and these top 5 wilderness-heavy nations to stop industry action in these regions to protect the wild. 

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