A global vision for conservation and human well-being: Can humans drive economic growth, meet rising demand for food, energy and water, and make significant environmental progress? Yes, but….

Read ScienceDaily article here

Heather Tallis et al. An attainable global vision for conservation and human well-beingFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2018;
; 16(10): 563–570, DOI: 10.1002/fee.1965

….an emerging model for cross-sector collaboration that aims to create a world ready for the sustainability challenges ahead.


A hopeful vision of the future is a world in which both people and nature thrive, but there is little evidence to support the feasibility of such a vision. We used a global, spatially explicit, systems modeling approach to explore the possibility of meeting the demands of increased populations and economic growth in 2050 while simultaneously advancing multiple conservation goals. Our results demonstrate that if, instead of “business as usual” practices, the world changes how and where food and energy are produced, this could help to meet projected increases in food (54%) and energy (56%) demand while achieving habitat protection (>50% of natural habitat remains unconverted in most biomes globally; 17% area of each ecoregion protected in each country), reducing atmospheric greenhouse-gas
emissions consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement (≤1.6°C warming by 2100), ending overfishing, and reducing water stress and particulate air pollution. Achieving this hopeful vision for people and nature is attainable
with existing technology and consumption patterns. However, success will require major shifts in production methods and an ability to overcome substantial economic, social, and political challenges.

From Science Daily:

…Can we design a future that meets people’s needs without further degrading nature in the process?

Our answer is “yes,” but it comes with several big “ifs.” There is a path to get there, but matters are urgent — if we want to accomplish these goals by mid-century, we’ll have to dramatically ramp up our efforts now. The next decade is critical.

Furthermore, changing course in the next ten years will require global collaboration on a scale not seen perhaps since World War II. The widely held impression that economic and environmental goals are mutually exclusive has contributed to a lack of connection among key societal constituencies best equipped to solve interconnected problems — namely, the public health, development, financial and conservation communities. This has to change.

The good news is that protecting nature and providing water, food and energy to a growing world do not have to be either-or propositions. Our view, instead, calls for smart energy, water, air, health and ecosystem initiatives that balance the needs of economic growth and resource conservation equally….

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