How to Conserve Half the Planet Without Going Hungry

Zia Mehrabi, Erle C. Ellis, and Navin Ramankutty

Nature Sustainability

August 2018

Read the full paper here.

Amid widespread concerns about biodiversity loss, a single clear conservation message is engaging leading conservationists: the proposal to give half the surface of the Earth back to nature. Depending on the landscape conservation strategy, we find that, globally, 15–31% of cropland, 10–45% of pasture land, 23–25% of non-food calories and 3–29% of food calories from crops could be lost if half of Earth’s terrestrial ecoregions were given back to nature.

Zia Mehrabi, a postdoctoral student at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, wrote a paper in collaboration with SPPGA faculty member professor Navin Ramankutty and Erle C. Ellis, discussing the possibility of giving 50% of the earth’s surface back to nature.