First Global Assessment of Roadless Areas Presented at International Congress

Contact: Dominick DellaSala, Geos Institute, 541/482-4459 x302

Last July in Baltimore, representatives of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) participated in a Roadless Area Symposium at the biennial International Congress for Conservation Biology 2013. Scientists described their research about global and regional perspectives on conserving roadless areas and shared preliminary results from the first global assessment of roadless areas.

The symposium was opened by Dominick DellaSala, President and Chief Scientist at the Geos Institute in Oregon, who also serves as the president of the North American Section of the Society for Conservation Biology.

DellaSala stated, “Roadless areas are nature’s last stand against humanity’s ever-expanding ecological footprint. This symposium marks the first time we have scientific consensus on the importance of roadless lands for untrammeled landscapes, clean water, and climatic refugia.”

Collaborators on this research include the SCB Policy Committee, Google Earth, Centre for Econics and Ecosystem Management, Kriton Arsenis (member of the European Parliament), and representatives from all of SCB’s regional sections (North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Caribean, Oceania, and Marine).

For the first time roadless areas on all continents have been identified, and the extent of functional ecosystems and protected areas has been analyzed. Findings indicate that less than 4% of the globe’s roadless areas are strictly protected in wilderness areas or national parks (IUCN categories I + II), and that the best protection thus far has been achieved in North America.

Click here for details from Germany’s Centre for Econics and Ecosystem Management.

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