Analysis Of The Half Earth Plan

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The Half Earth Plan: A review of the effectiveness, costs and alternative approaches of habitat corridors for biodiversity conservation Anna R. Elliott1



Key words: habitat corridors, biodiversity conservation, corridor ecology, habitat fragmentation, landscape connectivity.

a. The Half Earth Plan
The Half Earth Plan is a term coined recently by renowned biologist E.O. Wilson (Hiss, 2014). It describes the ambitious ideal of reserving half of the earth for biodiversity conservation by creating ecological corridors to connect habitats rich in biodiversity. This follows on from Wilson’s Island Biogeography Theory (MacArthur & Wilson, 1967). There is a general consensus that the methods for conserving
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A table was constructed to highlight the focus of each study by comparing habitat, geographic location, species, method used to assess effectiveness and the outcome of the study. Economic costs and community involvement are also considered as Wilson highlighted the challenge of creating “socially accepted corridors that allow people to coexist with nature” (Hiss, 2014).
This information was used to critically review the idea that ecological corridors enhance biodiversity conservation. It is expected that this review will highlight the need for more standardised models of biodiversity conservation methods as well as models for assessing the effectiveness of the conservation methods. In addition it is expected that there is need for greater communication between private landowners, conservation scientists, land managers, policy makers and local communities (Müller & Opgenoorth, 2014).
This review will be useful for research scientists and conservation practitioners as it will highlight the current paradigms of biodiversity conservation in relation to reducing habitat fragmentation through the use of ecological
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More species than ever are threatened and Wilson alarmingly predicts we are heading towards the sixth extinction; a biological holocaust (Hiss, 2014). Biodiversity conservation is also a political and social concern and many recent studies suggest that in-situ conservation techniques that involve local communities are more effective at reducing biodiversity loss (Méndez-López et al., 2014). This would suggest that when we consider the potential success of the Half Earth Plan we need to also need to consider the social element as it has been found that financial incentives (Parkhurst et al., 2002; Méndez-López et al., 2014) and community involvement is crucial for biodiversity conservation (Sarkar & Montoya, 2011). Many conservation programmes have been initiated to tackle the problem of biodiversity loss but methods to assess the effectiveness of these projects often focus on an individual indicator species (Laycock et al., 2009). It is hard to put an economic value on preserving a particular species which is why evaluation techniques need to combine ecological indicator techniques with social and economic measures (Laycock et al., 2009). (Drechsler, 2011) describes an ecological
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