“Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.”
Why should we care about lemurs? Well, aside from being delightful, beautiful creatures that are part of the mammalian order Primates of which we ourselves are members, they are also a major economic asset for a country historically plagued by poverty and political instability.
I attended my first SXSWeco, a gathering of a global community to explore, engage and co-create solutions for a sustainable world, this year. As I think back on the experience, it was a mix of unexpected events and people, which provided me with several takeaways that can teach us all some important lessons.
For too long, environmentalism and conservation have been focused on saving nature for its intrinsic value. We don't really talk much about people except almost as an afterthought. In some instances, we've even allowed our efforts to be framed as favoring nature at the expense of people.
Since most of the rain run-off ended up in the Pacific Ocean, there's little left to quench the thirsty empty reservoirs and therefore, unusable.
CI and 83 partners have been meticulously gathering data on changes in biomass, biodiversity, species distribution and other indicators of ecosystem health. The data from this network offers decision makers an early warning system designed to identify potentially harmful changes arising within Earth's ecosystems.
What we're seeing here is the perfect storm of extinction, poverty and radicalism. We're seeing the deterioration of societies and a massive threat to the stability of not only African nations but the entire world. A crucial step in changing this equation is to ensure that the ivory trade comes to an end.
We are talking about a far more serious question: How will we feed the world 20 years from now? Indeed, if we do not stop the systematic destruction of our ocean resources, we could have a serious seafood shortfall; this is on a collision course with simultaneous population growth.
Take a look at some incredible photos of Pool's "slothified" sanctuary below. All photos and captions courtesy of Conservation