In the past two decades, the Earth has witnessed a considerable loss in wilderness. The shocking thing is efforts to protect these “critical” areas are failing to keep pace with the rate of loss.
A study published in the journal, Current Biology, says wildernesses are ignored in conservation policies, as it is assumed they do not face threats.
According to researchers, since the early 1990s one-tenth (3.3 million km2 or approximately 9.6 per cent) of global wilderness areas have been lost.
Major losses have occurred in the Amazon (30 per cent) and Africa (14 per cent). Wildernesses are “biologically and ecologically largely intact landscapes that are mostly free of human disturbance”, the study adds.
“The findings underscore an immediate need for international policies to recognise the value of wilderness and to address the unprecedented threats it faces,” Associate Professor, University of Queensland’s School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, James Watson says.