Today’s Solutions: October 20, 2021

The natural world thrives when allowed to maintain the delicate balance of its ecosystems, but human activity has thrown nature off balance and we are now facing the consequences. In the past 50 years, approximately two-thirds of the world’s wildlife has been lost, and around 40 percent of plant species are on the verge of extinction.

To combat our own environmental missteps, we are trying to find more sustainable and eco-friendly ways to live, while also attempting to restore nature through tree-planting, conservation efforts, and the development of carbon-capture technologies.

That said, many people believe that the best way to address the climate crisis and support biodiversity is to allow nature to recover itself by minimizing human interference as much as possible. This progressive conservation movement is called “rewilding,” and is based on the principle that nature knows best when it comes to protecting itself.

Rewilding has previously worked for Yellowstone National Park in the US. At the beginning of the 20th century, the wolves in that area were hunted to near extinction. The drastic decline in wolves meant that elk populations skyrocketed, eventually leading to the overgrazing of the land which ultimately meant that trees such as aspen and willow were prevented from maturing.

The domino effect continued as other creatures such as birds and beavers were left without trees in their natural habitat. The lack of natural shade also resulted in rising water temperatures in the rivers, negatively affecting even more biodiversity.

To address this, 14 wolves were brought to Yellowstone from Jasper National Park in Canada to replace the ones that were lost. Once the wolves were acclimated to their new home, they were released into the park. Within 20 years, the wolf population was completely restored, which also brought balance back to the park’s ecosystem.

In Scotland, rewilding has gained popularity in recent years thanks to the Scottish Rewilding Alliance (SWA), an organization that calls upon politicians to create policies that would push Scotland to become the world’s first “rewilding nation”.

A poll taken last year revealed that the Scottish public approves of the SWA’s mission, as more than three-quarters of people from across the country reported being in favor of the rewilding process. Steve Micklewright, convenor of the SWA, explains that the alliance is urging all political parties to employ five different strategies to safeguard the environment:

  • Commit to rewilding 30 percent of public land.
  • Establish a community fund to support rewilding in towns and cities.
  • Backing the reintegration of keystone species such as rehoming beavers and reintroducing the Eurasian Lynx where there is local support.
  • Create a coastal zone where dredging and trawling are not permitted.
  • Introduce a plan to control deer populations, allowing land to recover from overgrazing.

The SWA hopes that the public will continue to push for politicians who will back the rewilding plan so that Scotland can combat climate change, recover its natural balance, and support its biodiversity.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

These are the inaugural winners of the Earthshot Prize

We recently wrote about Earthshot Prize nominee Vinisha Umashankar, a clever 14-year-old student from Tamil Nadu who created a mobile ironing cart that runs off solar power. Although Umashankar didn’t win an Earthshot Prize, the ... Read More

6 Ways to end bedtime procrastination

Are you a bedtime procrastinator? Do you know you should go to sleep but end up binge-watching television, scrolling through social media, or looking for an appetizer recipe to bring to that dinner party this ... Read More

Residents of this small Spanish town pay less taxes the more they recycle

The small Spanish town of La Nucía is located just 10 kilometers away from the touristy seaside resorts of Benidorm. But compared to its skyscraper-dominant neighbor, La Nucía’s architecture ranks high in sustainability rather than ... Read More

Help scientists locate walruses by becoming a walrus detective

The Arctic is under increasing threat due to climate change, and so is the biodiversity that it supports. That’s why the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and the British Antarctic Survey have decided to collaborate with ... Read More

EU is giving away 60,000 free Interrail tickets to European youth

The European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas realizes that the coronavirus pandemic forced young people to “[miss] valuable and formative moments of their youth.” As a recognition of their sacrifice in the name of public ... Read More

Shades of Favor is the first all-Black female group to summit Kilimanjaro

A team of climbers has made history as the first group of Black women to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s largest free-standing mountain. The group of nine women come from a wide range of backgrounds ... Read More