Biodiversity conservation and the extinction of experience

Trends Ecol Evol. 2005 Aug;20(8):430-4. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2005.05.013. Epub 2005 Jun 13.


Biodiversity loss is a matter of great concern among conservation scientists, but the wherewithal to reverse this trend is generally lacking. One reason is that nearly half of the world's people live in urban areas and are increasingly disconnected from nature. If there is to be broad-based public support for biodiversity conservation, the places where people live and work should be designed so as to provide opportunities for meaningful interactions with the natural world. Doing so has the potential not only to engender support for protecting native species, but also to enhance human well-being. Accomplishing these goals will necessitate conservation scientists forging new collaborations with design professionals, health practitioners and social scientists, as well as encouraging the participation of the general public.