Staggeringly, “humanity has wiped out 68% of global wildlife since 1970”, according to the WWF (2020). If that stat wasn’t terrifying enough, it’s also been concluded that the annual rate of destruction is increasing. In other words, the eradication of the remaining 32% of global wildlife is speeding up! And the biggest cause cited is agriculture.
Urgent action is needed, and a growing number of voices in international conservation are demanding that humanity should retreat back, returning land to nature to create more wilderness. Today the most common narrative in western conservation is that ‘humanity is systematically destructive, so we need to protect areas from our harm.’
However, regenerative farmer Rebecca Hosking believes this separation argument is too simplistic. Rebecca is keen to show that humans can be a force for good, if only we remember how. As she says, “we can see the rest of life as something to control, or see it as something to protect. In both cases, humans are placed separate from all other species, and therein lies the inherent problem.”
How did this perceived human/nature separation come about? In western society, how does it manifest itself in our understanding of wilderness? And how do we go about changing this relationship to embrace wildlife as much as food in our land management?
Examining the language we use, history and psychology, Rebecca discusses these questions and gives insights into how to break down this cultural dichotomy.