New Summit Announced To Highlight Much-Needed Optimism In Conservation

Pangolins, the most trafficked animal in the world, have been given the highest level of protection at the 2016 CITES summit. 2630ben/Shutterstock 

It’s easy to see why conservation has an optimism image problem. Reading conservation news is mostly really, really depressing. Media coverage is all doom and gloom. It seems that every day heralds the announcement of the decline of another species, another creature is added to the endangered species list, another habitat has been lost.

This summer alone has seen announcements include elephant populations in Africa have declined 30 percent in just seven years, the first ever bee species is due to be listed as endangered, and a quarter of the Great Barrier Reef is now dead.

Which is why the announcement of the world’s first Conservation Optimism Summit, to be held in April next year, to coincide with Earth Day, is some much-needed positive news.

Worried about the negative focus of conservation coverage, the Zoological Society of London and Oxford University have teamed up to host the world's first summit to address this “culture of despair” and highlight the positive work being done in conservation.

Held in London, the summit will bring together people from conservation foundations, governments, NGOs, academia, and science to try and bring about a new, positive attitude towards environmentalism and conservation.

“In broad terms, we are trying to effect a change in the way people think about conservation,” said Professor EJ Milner-Gulland from Oxford, who spearheaded the event, in a statement. “There's lots of bad news out there, and it can give the impression that the field is all doom and gloom.”

Pandas were taken off the endangered species list this year. Yay! SJ Travel Photo and Video/Shutterstock

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