I do not believe in a gloom-and-doom approach to conservation, which can be quite detrimental to our efforts. On a more upbeat note, I believe that much of our planet’s biological diversity can be maintained and that conservation in general has to be considered the art of the possible. The example of Brazil, which may be the single most diverse country in the world, is most encouraging. One hears a great deal about destruction and the many environmental problems faced by Brazil but very little about the successes. Nonetheless, the successes are there, and for those of us who have been working in Brazil for two decades, the advances in conservation in that country seem little short of phenomenal. They lead me to believe that a very large proportion of Brazil’s biological diversity can be maintained. With the proper input of resources from both the developed world and the developing countries themselves, there is no reason why these successes cannot be repeated on a global basis.
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Eudey, A.A. 1987. Action Plan for Asian Primate Conservation. International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources/Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group, World Wildlife Fund, and United Nations Environment Programme, Washington, D.C. 70 pp.
Mittermeier, R.A. 1977. A Global Strategy for Primate Conservation. International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources/Species Survival Commission Primate Specialist Group, Cambridge, Mass. 325 pp.
Mittermeier, R.A. 1987. The effects of hunting on rain forest primates. Pp. 109–146 in C.Marsh and R.A.Mittermeier, eds. Primate Conservation in the Tropical Rain Forest. Alan R.Liss, New York.
Mittermeier, R.A., and J.F.Oates. 1985. Primate diversity: The world’s top countries. Primate Conserv. 5:41–48.