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Interview: Looking for Solutions
In the Fight to Preserve Biodiversity

For decades, conservation biologist Thomas Lovejoy has repeatedly warned — sometimes in dire terms — about the loss of biodiversity. But Lovejoy, who this week was awarded the prestigious Blue Planet Prize, remains an optimist. “There is no point in being unduly pessimistic, because that just
Thomas Lovejoy
Thomas Lovejoy
guarantees all the bad things will happen,” says Lovejoy, who received the environmental prize at the Rio+20 summit. Credited with introducing the term “biological diversity” to the scientific community, Lovejoy has spent his career promoting it, with stints at the Smithsonian Institution and the World Wildlife Fund. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Lovejoy, who currently teaches at George Mason University, talked about the multi-pronged threats to biodiversity, from habitat loss to climate change; the potential impact of major dam projects and other planned development on the Amazon; and why he supports market-based conservation schemes that provide benefits to local residents.
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