Protecting the Living World

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protection biodiversité faune flore climat

Our efforts to protect nature were already not enough to stop many species disappearing. Global warming has made things even more complicated: we need new strategies to protect biodiversity.

Environments are changing and so species are migrating. One solution is therefore to widen protected areas. This is another argument in favour of big cross-border reserves. Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Columbia have thus reached an agreement to manage the marine species that migrate in their waters. Moreover, larger protected areas are often more heterogeneous and this makes it easier for living things to find the specific conditions that suit them best. They also make it possible to form larger populations that are more genetically diverse and more viable.

Ecological corridors can be created and allow animals or vegetation to go from one habitat to another, without being blocked by artificial zones. A 2-kilometre corridor specially dedicated to climate change has thus been set up in Australia; it ensures that species can survive and adapt.

Alternately, protection can be adapted as species migrate and gradually change the limits of existing protected areas: they are mobile reserves. This new idea is hard to set up as delimiting protected areas is a slow and complex process.

If this fails, many species will only exist in museums, seed banks or zoos but even this solution is not satisfactory. For example, there are many polar bears in zoos throughout the world but this large predator used to hunting on immense territory does not fare well in confined spaces. Usually, nature cannot be put in a jar.

Abrams.

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