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In this podcast, Thomas E. Lovejoy, Senior Fellow, United Nations Foundation, talks candidly about his life’s work as an advocate for environmental conservation.

Lovejoy talks in detail about biodiversity and his extensive work in environmental science. He explains how his early interest in animals, biology, and eventually his work in graduate school led him to his career in environmental science and conservation.

Lovejoy talks about his time with the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and his years of work studying and researching the Amazon in Brazil. Lovejoy talks about what happens when a forest breaks into fragments. As he states, a forest that is broken into fragments creates a situation in which these fragments are no longer part of a larger system, and as they are no
longer part of the larger ecosystem the fragments lose the ability to support the species contained within.

The biodiversity science expert discusses drought and deforestation. And he talks about some of the ways that we can back off the tipping point by pursuing reforestation, and working to build new connections between the various forest fragments. Lovejoy discusses treefall gaps (holes in a forest with vertical sides) and he provides a detailed explanation of how seeds are distributed and why certain small animal species are so crucially important to the process.

Wrapping up, Lovejoy explains the negative impacts of greater amounts of carbon in the atmosphere and how that is directly affecting climate change.

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