Roads to ruin: the pitfalls of the G20's infrastructure bonanza

Laurance, Bill (2015) Roads to ruin: the pitfalls of the G20's infrastructure bonanza. The Conversation, 10 March 2015. pp. 1-5.

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[Extract] In the past decade, two-thirds of the world's forest elephants – which live only in Africa's equatorial rainforests – have been slaughtered by poachers for their ivory tusks.

Why? One reason is that poachers are now armed with far more lethal technologies than they once had. Instead of arrows and spears, they now have powerful rifles and cable snares.

But an even bigger reason is that, since the year 2000, more than 50,000 kilometres of roads have been bulldozed into the Congo Basin, mostly by industrial loggers, opening up the region to waves of commercial and subsistence hunters. The elephants simply have nowhere left to hide.

This scene of ecological invasion is being repeated over and over, all around the world. The last remnants of nature are in retreat, put to flight by roads and other human infrastructure.

Item ID: 38130
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
Keywords: deforestation, G20 nations, habitat destruction, hydroelectric dams, infrastructure, roads
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2015 23:51
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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