The Aspen Environment Forum kicks off its four-day event today in Colorado. The Forum, now in it’s fifth year and put on by the Aspen Institute and National Geographic, assembles “a broad spectrum of key thought leaders for rich and engaging dialogue on the challenges of reconciling Earth’s finite resources with its ability to sustain our expanding human needs.”
Friday’s kick-off festivities included a highly anticipated presentation by Dr. E. O. Wilson, who also serves on APR’s Scientific Advisory Council. Dr. Wilson demonstrated ongoing his commitment to scientific education by unveiling his latest project: a free, digital biology textbook called E. O. Wilson’s Life on Earth.
From the E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation:
In addition, American Prairie Reserve’s President, Sean Gerrity, will be participating in a panel discussion on Sunday, Day 2 of the Forum:
Session 1: Old Greens Versus New
10:00am – 11:15am
Koch Seminar Building
For traditional conservationists, the goal has been to preserve as much wild nature as possible from encroaching human civilization. A new breed of pragmatists is advocating that we accept the growing needs of humanity as a starting point for conservation – along with the reality that there is no untouched wilderness left to preserve. Earth is a garden, they say, and we are the gardeners. What do these different approaches mean in practice? And what’s the evidence so far – from wildlife corridors to assisted migration to ecosystem restoration – that we’re any good at gardening? The discussion will swoop from philosophical heights into the planet’s burgeoning crop of weeds.
- Jon Foley, Director, Inst. on the Environment, University of Minnesota
- Sean Gerrity, President, American Prairie Reserve
- Thomas Lovejoy, Biodiversity Chair, Heinz Center
- Emma Marris, Author, Rambunctious Garden
Rob Kunzig, Sr. Enviro. Editor, National Geographic magazine
If you are planning to attend the Forum, we’d love to hear about your experience and encourage you to share your reactions to the panel.