Mapping a Shrinking Wilderness – 2/6/19

“There aren’t many corners of the world left untouched by humanity. Recent research has highlighted that just 23% of the planet’s land surface (excluding Antarctica) and 13% of the ocean can now be classified as wilderness, representing nearly a 10% decline over the last 20 years. And more than 70% of what wilderness remains is contained within just five countries. While global maps are useful for drawing attention to the attrition of wilderness areas, only the greater detail of national and local maps can really help us understand and respond to the threats that face our remaining wild areas.”

“The scale of these kind of maps (click here) affects both the patterns we see and how we understand wilderness destruction. This in turn influences how we might respond to and manage the threats to the world’s remaining wild areas. While global maps grab the headlines, they also risk masking the detail in the underlying causes and so have limited use. They may be great for highlighting the problem, but should only be a starting point to encourage us to look deeper and help us appreciate the underlying drivers of these lost wilds.” [Source:]