New Staff Members Enhance the Center’s Conservation and Science Work

The Center for Large Landscape Conservation is pleased to announce the addition of two staff members who are helping to lead our programmatic work in the U.S. and worldwide. Project Director Megan Parker and Senior Conservation Scientist Annika Keeley each bring an impressive array of accomplishments in the field of conservation. We are excited to have these two leaders on our team to further elevate our science, policy, and partnership work.

Diving In: The Center Helps Advance Marine Connectivity

When we hear the term “ecological corridors” we tend to think of the natural pathways that land animals like elk or elephants use to move among larger natural areas to eat, drink, mate and meet other survival needs. Corridors are equally important for marine life like whales, turtles, fish, and seabirds, which depend on linkages between ocean areas for daily movement, seasonal migration, and completing their life cycles. Until recently, collaborative research and guidance on marine ecological connectivity had been lacking, but now the Center for Large Landscape Conservation is supporting coordination of work by a unique group of experts that is making the issue a top priority.

First-ever Asia Transportation Ecology Forum Was Co-sponsored by the Center

More than 20 speakers and nearly 200 attendees made history last week as participants in the first-of-its-kind gathering to share knowledge for making transportation infrastructure more sustainable across Asia. As many countries in the region expand their networks of roads, rails, and other modes of transportation, such development can provide vast economic and social benefits but also present challenges to nature conservation and local communities. Therefore, on December 16-17, 2021, the 1st Asia Transportation Ecology Forum was held to explore how this development is already impacting ecosystems—affecting species from butterflies to elephants—and how science-based solutions can be applied to conserve Asia’s rich biodiversity. 

New Report: Experts Say Roads, Rails, and Canals are Threatening Asian Elephant Survival

An international group of more than 25 elephant biologists and infrastructure ecologists released a report today with an urgent message: All efforts to avoid key Asian elephant habitats and their migration corridors need to be made when developing linear infrastructure like roads, railways, and canals. If this is not possible, wildlife crossings are key to providing safe passage for this endangered species. The report comes in response to an explosion of new linear infrastructure across Asia that is increasingly blocking elephant movement and leading to deadly collisions.

Center Completes USAID-funded Project to Advance Wildlife-Friendly Linear Infrastructure in Asia

Asia is home to many iconic wildlife species—such as Asian elephants, Bengal tigers, and Sumatran orangutans—along with some of the world’s richest biodiversity and most complex ecosystems. Yet, as Asia experiences unprecedented economic growth, the region’s natural heritage is threatened by the rapid expansion of linear infrastructure like roads, railways, and power lines. That’s why, over the last 14 months, the nonprofit Center for Large Landscape Conservation has helped USAID build a knowledge base to support Asian countries in planning wildlife-friendly linear infrastructure.

The Center Helps Set Global Conservation Agenda at IUCN Congress

Every four years, thousands of representatives from government, civil society, Indigenous peoples, business, and academia come together at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Conservation Congress with the goal of setting conservation priorities and driving actions. In light of challenges to convening, the postponed 2020 Congress was held with both in-person and virtual participants from September 3 to 11, 2021, in Marseille, France. As an official non-governmental organization (NGO) Member of the Union, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation contributed in multiple ways at the Congress toward setting the international conservation agenda for the coming decade.

‘Rules of Thumb’ for Marine Connectivity Conservation Released Today

The ecological connectivity of marine and coastal ecosystems is essential. It requires linkages that connect our oceans’ critical habitats, species, and natural processes. These connections allow a variety of species to move and they also sustain important ecosystem functions such as fish larvae dispersal, nutrient cycling, and carbon sequestration—the ocean’s ability to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to slow climate change. To inform conservation efforts that maintain, enhance, and restore ecological connectivity of the oceans, a new publication was released today titled “Marine Connectivity Conservation ‘Rules of Thumb’ for MPA and MPA Network Design.”

Protected Planet Report: 7.84% of Land is Protected and Connected

Protected lands and freshwaters cover approximately a sixth of the world’s surface according to the new Protected Planet Report 2020. This online publication provides insights on the status of global progress toward achieving the goal of protecting at least 17% of land by 2020. It also highlights opportunities for goals and actions toward halting and reversing the biodiversity crisis before 2050. The Center is proud to have contributed to this leading global assessment on the state of protected and conserved areas around the world.

Connecting Youth for Nature: Experiences from the Global Youth Summit

Akash Patil of India spoke of his first encounter with a leopard and his subsequent commitment to a career in conservation. Nayla Azmi told a story of growing up in an Indonesian palm oil plantation and her journey to become an orangutan protector. Sarah Kulis, a recent graduate from West Virginia University, and legally blind, encouraged other aspiring conservationists with disabilities to persevere. These were three of the young storytellers who shared their experiences in conservation at the Center’s workshop at the recent IUCN Global Youth Summit.

UN Adopts Landmark Resolution “Nature Knows No Borders”

Recently, the United Nations General Assembly adopted an unprecedented resolution recognizing the critical importance of ecological connectivity worldwide. The resolution, sponsored by Kyrgyzstan and signed by 60 other countries, encourages all 193 country members to enhance habitat and species connectivity to preserve ecosystems and wildlife corridors that share borders between countries.

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