Steve Boyes: How we're saving one of Earth's last wild places
Steve Boyes is working to study and conserve the endangered Okavango Delta in Botswana. Full bio
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intact wetland wilderness.
is the jewel of the Kalahari,
to the world's largest diamond producer
UNESCO World Heritage Site.
are the two major tributaries,
into the little-known Angolan highlands.
river basin on the planet,
watersheds were frozen in time
since World War II
crossing the Okavango's Cuito River.
at Vundumtiki Camp
of islands to explore.
population of elephants on the planet.
to find sanctuary in this wilderness.
that stand like cathedrals
to reconnect with who we really are.
we are a biological species
particular biological world.
between individuals and species
to the millions of species
and indirectly every day.
of all wildlife around the world
of 15,000 wildebeests
in the Maasai Mara two years ago.
are projected to have fallen
for millions of species
eight times across the Okavango Delta
18-day research transect.
we need this information
the people of the Okavango Delta.
about the Mother Okavango --
the Okavango Delta each year
of that world, now gone.
we were as we are today:
unlike anything seen before.
is what taught us to speak,
like fire and stone, bow and arrow,
and all living things around us.
of our planet's land surface
measurable human impact:
global wildlife populations.
safe space for these wild animals.
project to do just that:
through active minefields
of the Cuito River --
the Okavango megatransect ...
and intensive research
to Lake Xau in the Kalahari Desert,
lily pad and current ...
choking the air around you,
of a landmine going off
moments after a hippo did just that --
through the hull of my boat.
and capsizes in rocky rapids.
six to eight hours every single day.
to my bank accounts
places we hardly ever go?
your life to be there?
or particularly spiritual person,
the birthplace of religion.
far away from anywhere
for those secrets
their societies for millennia.
wilderness is unprotected.
of the Okavango River basin,
of detailed research transects
the Okavango-Zambezi water tower --
with undocumented source lakes,
largest remaining Miombo woodland.
24 new species to science
not known to be there.
with the Angolan government,
of protected areas in the world
Okavango-Zambezi water tower
water security for millions of people
remaining on this planet.
conservation opportunity in Africa
an unprecedented investment
of wilderness around the world.
than simply protecting ecosystems
and create the air we breathe.
our basic human right to be wild --
ABOUT THE SPEAKERSteve Boyes - Conservation biologist
Steve Boyes is working to study and conserve the endangered Okavango Delta in Botswana.
Why you should listen
South African conservation biologist Steve Boyes explores and studies remote wildernesses in Africa, including the endangered Okavango Delta, to protect and restore them. Trained as an ornithologist, he is the Executive Director of the Wild Bird Trust and a Fellow at the National Geographic Society.
Steve Boyes | Speaker | TED.com