Meeting this week in Merida, Mexico, the 9th World Wilderness Congress (WILD9) has released a declaration that calls for increasing wilderness protections in an effort to mitigate climate change.
Entitled the Merida Message, the declaration put forth by the Chairman and Executive Committee of WILD9, describes the humanity's current situation as such:
I almost went to this conference. Reading this declaration sure makes me wish I could have made it -- sounds like it was an inspiring gathering..."runaway carbon emissions are driving the climate towards irreversible tipping points; we are contaminating our planet with pervasive toxicity, destroying the diversity of life on our planet, exhausting freshwater supplies and causing acidification in our oceans, and over-exploiting our oceans, causing fisheries to collapse. As a result, we are deepening poverty, weakening social structures and threatening global security."
The declaration states that protection of critical wilderness areas will help alleviate these global problems and combat climate change. While reducing fossil fuel emissions is a must, WILD 9 points out that approximately 30 percent of emissions over the past 250 years has come from deforestation and land-use change. Therefore the Merida Message calls for new protections of forests, wetlands, grasslands, and peatlands, all of which store large amounts of carbon.
Read more coverage of Merida's accomplishments - North American governments agree to protect wilderness>>