Kareiva: Why Global Health Matters to Conservation
We conservationists have had a hard time tracking the lasting impact of our achievements beyond acres protected, and we all know that acres protected is not sufficient by itself as a measure of biodiversity health. Contrast that with global health. The most recent global health report — the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 — is a compelling tale of astonishing accomplishments (Horton et al., 2012). In the last 40 years, global life expectancy for women has risen from 61 to 73 years, and for men from 56 to 68 years. Mortality from malaria is the one and only outlier in a remarkable record of falling death rates due to infectious diseases. We might do well by asking ourselves why the health world has been able to document so much progress — even in some of the poorest and most strife torn countries — while conservation has not?