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New study: Just five percent of the world’s land mass is untouched by human activity

Just five percent of the world’s land mass is untouched by human activity, according to a new study, highlighting the need to protect areas other than pristine wilderness. Researchers from The Nature Conservancy found 95 percent of the world’s land area, excluding Antarctica, had been modified by people. The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, suggests the degree to which land is affected by human activity is higher than previously reported.

Can’t see the wood for the trees? Making the most of our forests for biodiversity and wood production

A new paper attempts to answer the very thorny question of how best to maintain the production of wood products while conserving biodiversity? While the land sparing versus land sharing problem is often framed as polar opposites, landscapes can exist anywhere on the sparing-to-sharing spectrum through mixed landscapes. The paper reveals that the best landscape configuration for all species was mixed, containing elements of both sparing and sharing, but was ultimately towards the sparing end of the spectrum.

Buzzing for bees and soil to help the climate

Climate change is impacting some of agriculture’s top pollinators: the bees. One-third of all crop production in the U.S. requires pollination, but in the shadow of climate change, pesticide use, and habitat loss, up to one-third of all honeybee colonies in the U.S. have vanished. One solution that could lessen the impact of climate change now and also in the future is regenerative agriculture.

Amazon indigenous groups propose Mexico-sized corridor of life

Indigenous peoples around the world own or manage much of the planet’s last great storehouses of biodiversity and carbon. In Colombia, indigenous peoples have been working to protect their territories and consolidate their own models of environmental governance for decades. In an expansion of this effort, indigenous groups in the Amazon recently proposed the establishment of “sacred corridor of life and culture,” covering 200 million hectares across the Andean Amazon. As the world’s largest protected area, this corridor would protect critically important biodiversity, like the Lowland Tapir, while keeping millions of tons of carbon out of the atmosphere.