What would it take to solve Earth’s grand environmental and sustainability challenges? For our first-ever special issue, Momentum magazine invited more than two dozen experts from around the world to give us their take on how we might craft solutions to some of our planet’s biggest problems. Check out M. Sanjayan’s suggestions for stemming the loss of biodiversity, Peggy Liu’s perspectives on supplying global energy needs with renewables, Alex Steffen's vision for sustainable cities and lots more.
TOP 25 BIODIVERSITY HOT SPOTS: Rich in biodiversity and under threat from human impacts projects. To rigorously test this approach, more projects must be funded, implemented and analyzed, over longer periods of time and at bigger scales. To date, some promising projects and research in 15 14 diverse locations—Ethio8 pia, Nepal, Madagascar, 20 Rwanda, the Philippines 3 19 2 21 18 and Uganda—suggest 11 that the HELP approach 5 16 17 25 offers greater benefits than 1 6 9 10 traditional programs. 4 23 13 In the Philippines, 22 12 7 for example, the PATH 24 Foundation Philippines’ Integrated Population and Coastal Resource Man1) The Tropical Andes • 2) Mesoamerica • 3) The Caribbean Islands • 4) The Atlantic Forest • 5) Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena • agement (IPOPCORM) 6) The Cerrado • 7) Chilean Winter Rainfall-Valdivian Forests • 8) The California Floristic Province • 9) Madagascar and the Indian program addresses pressing Ocean Islands • 10) The Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa • 11) The Guinean Forests of West Africa • 12) The Cape Floristic Region • needs for both fam13) The Succulent Karoo • 14) The Mediterranean Basin • 15) The Caucasus • 16) Sundaland • 17) Wallacea • 18) The Philippines • ily planning services and 19) Indo-Burma • 20) The Mountains of Southwest China • 21) Western Ghats and Sri Lanka • 22) Southwest Australia • 23) New Caledonia • 24) New Zealand • 25) Polynesia-Micronesia sustainable environmental stewardship in densely SOURCE: RUSSELL A. MITTERMEIER, NORMAN MYERS AND CRISTINA GOETTSCH MITTERMEIER, HOTSPOTS: EARTH'S BIOLOGICALLY RICHEST AND MOST ENDANGERED TERRESTRIAL ECOREGIONS, 2000 populated coastal communities, where local fisheries have been depleted because of increased demand for food. IPOPCORM helps create marine structures by demonstrating not only the short-term savings but also protected areas and promotes alternative economic livelihoods such as the synergies that bolster long-term sustainability. seaweed harvesting, thus allowing critical local fish stocks to recover. The challenges are significant, but I see promising new opportuniConcurrently, the initiative mitigates human-induced pressures on the ties for overcoming them. For example, the new Pathfinder Internaenvironment and lowers the vulnerability of this underserved populational–led projects around Lake Victoria in Uganda and Kenya mark tion by providing voluntary family planning services. Since its launch the entry of a respected health organization into the environmental in 2001, the IPOPCORM program’s approach has yielded measurable arena and the return of a leading private funder—the MacArthur Founbenefits, simultaneously reducing program costs and improving health dation—to HELP programs. With some of Africa’s highest population and environmental outcomes—and outperforming compartmentalized, densities, poverty, ethnic diversity and biodiversity, the Great Lakes side-by-side sector interventions. region is one of the most volatile intersections of human development How can we bring HELP to biodiversity-rich communities? First, and environmental change. we can encourage scholars, practitioners and policy-makers to step Through these and other community-based, integrated projects, we outside their stovepipes by producing and distributing manuals, for can truly help people and the planet at the same time. example, based on lessons learned from existing cross-disciplinary projects. Second, we must bridge the gap between analysis and fieldGEOFFREY D. DABELKO is director of the Environmental Change based programs by developing new metrics that better assess the impact and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center of integrated programs. Third, we must open up bureaucratic funding for Scholars. WINTER 2012 35