Agriculture, Biodiversity Protection Must Co-Exist in Conservation, Study Says

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The report cites numerous examples of nature reserves whose purpose of wildlife protection is being seriously undermined. In China, for example, the Wolong Nature Reserve was established to protect the endangered giant panda bear, yet more of the panda's habitat has been destroyed inside the reserve than in the bordering areas outside the reserve, as forest land is converted to farms.

A New Approach

In calling for the adoption of "eco-agriculture," the report describes six strategies for the approach and cites 35 specific examples of how they are already in use around the world. "The researchers traveled all over the world and were really surprised by the extent to which some of these strategies are already being used," said Rose.

Some of the examples showed that farmers could protect wildlife species and conserve habitat on and near their land while actually increasing agricultural production and their household incomes, Rose said.

"The bottom line is that we're not going to be able to save wildlife unless we deal with agriculture," she added. "For years, farmers and environmentalists have been at cross-purposes, and we're not going to solve this problem until we get the farmers and environmentalists together."

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