Ten thousand years ago, as hunter-gatherers, we lived a sustainable life because that was the only option. All these years later, it's once again the only option. We need to rediscover how to be sustainable. To move from being apart from nature to becoming a part of nature once again.
If we can change the way we live on Earth, an alternative future comes into view. In this future, we discover ways to benefit from our land that help, rather than hinder, wilderness. Ways to fish our seas that enable them to come quickly back to life. And ways to harvest our forests sustainably.
The wilder and more diverse forests are, the more effective they are at absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.
We must immediately halt deforestation everywhere and
grow crops like oil palm and soya only on land that was deforested long ago.
After all, there's plenty of it.
A century ago, more than three quarters of Costa Rica was covered with forest. By the 1980s, uncontrolled logging had reduced this to just one quarter. The government decided to act, offering grants to land owners to replant native trees. In just 25 years, the forest has returned to cover half of Costa Rica once again.
Just imagine if we achieve this of the carbon emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by our activities to date. With all these things, there is one overriding principle. Nature is our biggest ally and our greatest inspiration.
We just have to do what nature has always done. It worked out the secret of life long ago. In this world, a species can only thrive when everything else around it thrives, too. We can solve the problems we now face by embracing this reality.
If we take care of nature, nature will take care of us. It's now time for our species To establish a life on our planet in balance with nature. To start to thrive. When you think about it, we're completing a journey.
Estimates suggest that "no fish" zones over a third of our coastal seas
would be sufficient to provide us with all the fish we will ever need.
Palau is a Pacific Island nation reliant on its coral reefs for fish and tourism. When fish stocks began to reduce, the Palauans responded by restricting fishing practices and banning fishing entirely from many areas. Protected fish populations soon became so healthy, they spilt over into the areas open to fishing.
As a result, the "no fish" zones have increased the catch of the local fishermen, while at the same time allowing the reefs to recover.
Imagine if we committed to a similar approach across the world.
Estimates suggest that "no fish" zones over a third of our coastal seas would be sufficient to provide us with all the fish we will ever need. In international waters, the UN is attempting to create the biggest "no fish" zone of all.
In one act, this would transform the open ocean from a place exhausted by subsidized fishing fleets to a wilderness that will help us all in our efforts to combat climate change.
When it comes to the land, we must radically reduce the area we use to farm,
so that we can make space for returning wilderness.
When it comes to the land, we must radically reduce the area we use to farm, so that we can make space for returning wilderness.
The quickest and most effective way to do that is for us to change our diet.
Large carnivores are rare in nature because it takes a lot of prey to support each of them. For every single predator on the Serengeti, there are more than 100 prey animals. Whenever we choose a piece of meat, we too are unwittingly demanding a huge expanse of space. The planet can't support billions of large meat-eaters. There just isn't the space.
If we all had a largely plant-based diet, we would need only half the land we use at the moment. And because we would be then dedicated to raising plants, we could increase the yield of this land substantially.