Earth Day 2021

On April 22nd 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Spearhead by Senator Nelson, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, the first Earth Day protests forced environmental protection onto the national political agenda and led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of key environmental legislation.

Today, Earth Day is widely recognised as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behaviour and provoke policy changes. Now, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the devastating effects of climate change become more and more apparent every day.

To mark Earth Day 2021, Elsevier presents a curated list of free access journal articles and book chapters in support of this year's theme - Restore our Earth.

Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 1, 22 November 2019
Over US$60 trillion is predicted to be spent on new infrastructure globally by 2040. Is it possible to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 (develop infrastructure networks) without sacrificing goals 14 and 15 (ending biodiversity loss)? We explore the potential role of “no net loss” (NNL) policies in reconciling these SDGs.
Elsevier, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Volume 254, 15 February 2018
Globally, agriculture has intensified during the past 50 years due to increased mechanization, changes in the timing of farming operations, grassland conversion to cropland, and increased agrochemical inputs. Birds associated with farmlands and grasslands in North America have experienced severe declines over the last several decades, prompting the need for a comprehensive review of the drivers, mechanisms and magnitude of effects on bird populations.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 2, 22 May 2020
Largely driven by the corporate sector, the recent surge of interest in trees as a solution to climate change has a distinct emphasis on planting trees. Realizing anticipated benefits will require managing the risks and trade-offs of land-use interventions and embracing the imperative of protecting existing forests.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 1, 20 September 2019
Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in natural environments requires careful management choices. However, common methods of evaluating the impact of conservation interventions can have contextual shortcomings. Here, we make a call for counterfactual thinking—asking the question “what would have happened in the absence of an intervention?”—with the support of rigorous evaluation approaches and more thoughtful consideration of human dimensions and behavior.
Elsevier,

 

One Earth, Volume 2, Issue 5, 2020, Pages 387-389

Here we ask researchers about the potential role of trees in mitigating and adapting to global change, as well as doing so in a way that does not compromise other Sustainable Development Goals.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 2, 22 May 2020
Forests are key components of the global carbon cycle and dominate mitigation strategies for climate change and biodiversity loss. In contrast, the importance of and threats facing ocean forests—kelp forests—are comparatively underappreciated. Yet, increasing the global area of kelp forests would enhance biodiversity and drawdown CO2, mitigating climate change.
Elsevier,

One Earth, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2020, Pages 98-108

We assess the success of natural reforestation in China's TNSP using satellite data. We use microwaves and SIF to measure water and photosynthesis in dryland vegetation. A strong correlation is found between reforestation and remote sensing data. Natural reforestation is successful at increasing vegetation activity in arid areas
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 2, 24 January 2020
Is ecology, as a science, doing enough to address big environmental problems? Here, a review of the top 40 ecology journals suggests not. As ecologists, we have the opportunity to reinforce the relevancy of ecology to society through greater promotion and execution of solution-focused science.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 1, 25 October 2019
To conserve the bulk of Earth's ecological heritage across the Anthropocene, setting aside half of Earth's land is just a start. To conserve biodiversity over the long term across an increasingly human planet, conservation must become as integral to the human enterprise around the world as are social and economic development.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 1, 25 October 2019
Economic development projects are increasingly applying the mitigation hierarchy to achieve No Net Loss, or even a Net Gain, of biodiversity. Because people value biodiversity and ecosystem services, this can affect the well-being of local people; however, these types of social impacts from development receive limited consideration. We present ethical, practical, and regulatory reasons why development projects applying the mitigation hierarchy should consider related social impacts.

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