Wilderness or wildlands are natural places on our planet that have not been significantly modified by humans. These last, truly wild places that have not been developed with industry, roads, buildings and houses are critical for the survival of many plant and animal species. They also provide humans with educational and recreational opportunities, and are deeply valued for aesthetic, cultural, moral and spiritual reasons. Some wildlands are protected, preserving natural areas for humans, animals, flora and fauna. Others are dissapearing at alarming rates, and simply drawing lines around specific areas is not enough. All of our planet is intricately connected.
Our planet has a natural environment, known as ‘ecosystem’, which includes all humans, animals, plants, land and water. Human activities have caused much depletion and destruction of this ecosystem. Environmentalism advocates the preservation, restoration and/or improvement of this natural environment by controlling pollution and protecting plant and animal diversity. Environmentalists attempt to balance relations between humans and the various natural systems on which they depend to achieve sustainability. Earth advocates work to protect natural resources and ecosystems through education, activism and the political process.
Well over 900 plants and animals are endangered, and hundreds more are threatened. Many of the reasons certain animals are disappearing forever are because of human activities. The mnemonic HIPPO represents the five major causes of declining wildlife biodiversity: