Op-Eds, Blogs & Podcasts

Preserving Bolivia's Wilderness: a Joint Endeavor
by Rob Wallace
In a new episode of the Voices of Wilderness podcast, WCS's Rob Wallace discusses his work in Bolivia over 30 years with a large number of partners, including more than 70 colleagues and Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples, to conserve natural areas and safeguard their biodiversity. They dig in to what motivates him to work for the conservation of the Bolivian landscape, including what difficulties he has encountered in his day-to-day work.
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NYC Climate Week Series, Part 3 | Investing in At-Risk Forests with the REDD+ Framework
by Todd Stevens
During New York's Climate Week, WCS is exploring bold approaches to the growing climate crisis in a three-part series. In our final episode, we look at REDD+ and market-driven approaches to forest conservation with WCS's Todd Stevens. Todd and the climate team want to find sustainable, financially viable incentives for protecting nature. Linking field-based conservation to private sector funding under the REDD+ framework, their goal is to use capital to ensure positive, environmentally friendly economic development in and around conservation sites.
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The Simplest Way to Prevent the Next Pandemic? Leave Bats Alone.
by Susan Lieberman, Steve Osofsky
In a new commentary for Undark, WCS's Sue Lieberman and her Cornell University colleague Steve Osofsky argue that because bats harbor many viruses that can spill over to humans, it's time to leave them and their habitats undisturbed to avoid a future pandemic.
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NYC Climate Week Series, Part 2: Why We Need Climate Adaptation
by Elizabeth Tully, Paul Elsen
The most important thing we can do to address climate change is reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Protecting intact nature can also be a big part of the solution. But let’s say we do those things and we manage to constrain climate change. What type of world will be left for us to live in, if we don't intentionally change our conservation strategies now? WCS's Liz Tully and Paul Elsen explain how that’s where climate adaptation has a part to play.
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An Overlooked Opportunity for Forest Restoration
by Kemen Austin, Tim Rayden, Kendall Jones
While reforestation is crucial to deliver on international climate and biodiversity commitments, this focus overlooks more than half of the world’s existing forests that haven’t been cleared, but have been modified by logging or other human activities. In a new essay for PBS Nature, WCS's Kemen Austin, Tim Rayden, and Kendall Jones argue that because these degraded areas still retain many essential characteristics of healthy forests, they should be considered the first priority for restoration, since they can recover quickly and provide benefits much sooner than cleared areas that need time to regrow.
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NYC Climate Week Series, Part 1: Why Is Forest Integrity So Important?
by Tom Evans, Kemen Austin
In anticipation of New York Climate Week taking place later this month during the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly, WCS Wild Audio presents the first in a 3-part series exploring bold approaches to the growing climate crisis. For Part 1, we look at why maintaining the ecological integrity of forests is so important and what can be done both to avoid further degradation and restore what’s been lost.
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How Hunting and Poaching Affect Climate Change
by Elizabeth Bennett
For a new episode of The Naked Scientists podcast, WCS's Liz Bennett describes a new study detailing that hunting and poaching are not just bad news for the animals themselves, but also the climate. The removal of large organisms is causing more carbon that is normally stored in these forests to be released in several different ways.
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On the Trail to Lac Télé
by Morgane Cournarie
"A beautiful stronghold for wildlife," WCS's Morgane Cournarie writes of Lac Télé Community Reserve in Congo in a new essay, "this landscape serves as a vital and enormously powerful living engine — pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing it safely."
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A Wildlife-Friendly Farming Approach with Ibis Rice
by Nick Spencer
At a time when 80 percent of the world’s forests have been degraded for agriculture and other human activities, a new approach is taking shape in Cambodia’s Northern Plains. There, an initiative to support sustainable rice production is reducing deforestation and helping to protect endangered bird species like the giant and white-shouldered ibis. The WCS-managed Ibis Rice links jasmine rice farmers to international consumer markets to achieve environmental protection and fair trade prices for local communities. WCS Wild Audio spoke to Ibis Rice CEO Nick Spencer to learn more.
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Posing for the Iconic “Jaws” Poster: An Interview with Allison Maher Stern
by Allison Maher Stern
While shark incidents with people are statistically very rare, each event understandably creates fear among beachgoers contemplating a swim in the ocean. Nothing has influenced the public’s attitude toward sharks more than the 1975 film "Jaws." WCS Life Trustee Allison Maher Stern was the model for the swimmer in the film’s famously provocative marketing campaign. WCS Wild Audio recently caught up with her to ask about that historic modeling job half a century ago, and how it has affected her life since then.
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Hand Raising Scarlet Macaws in Guatemala
by Rony Garcia, Gabriela Ponce Santizo, Jeremy Radachowsky
The 5 Great Forests from Mexico to Colombia contain 7.5 percent of the world’s biodiversity and support five million people. One of the iconic species there is the scarlet macaw. In Guatemala, protecting these bright red birds from habitat destruction and poaching for the pet trade is a major challenge. The WCS team there has taken an interesting approach.
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This World Lion Day, the King of the Jungle Is Vulnerable, But WCS Has a Strategy for Recovery
by Luke Hunter, Joshua Mabonga, Caroline Twahebwa
August 10 is World Lion Day. To learn more about how these majestic felines are doing across their range in Africa, and how WCS is working to conserve them, we turned to WCS’s Luke Hunter, along with Joshua Mabonga and Caroline Twahebwa of the WCS Uganda Program, whose anti-poaching efforts and community-based conservation work to reduce human-wildlife conflict are part of a larger strategy to recover lion populations across east and central Africa.
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Bárbara Saavedra:
by Bárbara Saavedra
Bárbara Saavedra has dedicated her life to caring for the environment and ecology as Director for Chile of the Wildlife Conservation Society. In this chapter she talks with Alejandra Sepúlveda from Comunidad Mujer. Bárbara Saavedra ha dedicado su vida al cuidado del medio ambiente y a la ecología como Directora para Chile de la Wildlife Conservation Society. En este capítulo conversa con Alejandra Sepúlveda de ComunidadMujer.
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Exploring Shark Science and Conservation
by Luke Warwick
WCS's Luke Warwick shares his professional journey, why he chose policy over research and the growth of the shark science field.
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Vice President of Individual Giving at Wildlife Conservation Society Stephen Ham
by Stephen Ham
WCS's Stephen Ham explains how he took his passion for the planet's biodiversity and turned it into a successful and fulfilling career path, including his current role at the Wildlife Conservation Society.
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Cristián Warnken Talks to Nicole Püschel, Head of Climate Change and Biodiversity for WCS Chile
by Nicole Püschel
WCS's Nicole Püschel spoke with Cristián Warnken about biodiversity conservation planning and the development of nature-based solutions that contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. La bióloga y máster en Ciencias de la conservación conversó con Cristián Warnken sobre la planificación en la conservación de la biodiversidad y en el desarrollo de soluciones basadas en la naturaleza que contribuyen a la mitigación y adaptación al cambio climático.
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