The race towards environmental sustainability is getting fiercer by the each passing day; In the light of this a new group of researchers are emerging whose sole focus is the number of roads exist in the world today; and questioning the effective this has o the environment. New statistics revealed by 2050 there will be over 25 million kilometers of new roads world and these will have a devastating effect on the environment.
The researchers have created a blueprint referred to as ‘global roadmap’ in a bold attempt to balance out landuse demands. This map consists of two layers i.e. ‘environmental values’ and ‘road benefits’ with the goal of increasing agricultural production through better roads.
The authors of the map, Professor Laurance and Balmford and colleagues from Harvard, Cambridge, Melbourne, Minnesota and other universities worked for nearly two years to map out the world’s most important ecosystems and biodiversity. They said the focus was on agriculture because demand for food is expected to double by mid century and roads will aid farming.
They said “So much road expansion today is unplanned or chaotic, and we badly need a more proactive approach. It’s vital because we’re facing the most explosive era of road expansion in human history,” he said.
In conclusion, with almost all of natural forests gone this approach to curb road construction might be another one of the keys to saving the world’s environment from imploding so to speak right from underneath our feet.
A global strategy for road building. William F. Laurance, Gopalasamy Reuben Clements, Sean Sloan, Christine S. O’Connell, Nathan D. Mueller, Miriam Goosem, Oscar Venter, David P. Edwards, Ben Phalan, Andrew Balmford, Rodney Van Der Ree & Irene Burgues Arrea. Nature 513, 229–232 (11 September 2014) doi:10.1038/nature13717
“Research.” Study Shows Where on the Planet New Roads Should and Should Not Go. N.p., 28 Aug. 2014. Web. 03 Oct. 2014.