Do you dream of wandering pristine corners of the earth or exploring far off exotic lands? I have good news: such places still exist! While environmental degradation, loss of natural resources, and destructive urbanization dominate the news, vast swaths of land are in fact protected and remain unspoiled. Every nation has some protected area, approximately 15.4% of global land and 3.4% of oceans. More is being protected each day, particularly that which has biodiversity or ecosystem value. The United Nations has the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) at ProtectedPlanet.com where anyone can discover and view detailed maps of protected terrestrial and marine areas. The hard work and commitment of conservationists, organizations, and governments has ensured a healthy environment to sustain and delight current and future generations.
I feel grateful to have witnessed extraordinary spots around the world – and here are a smattering of my favorite places in our world that highlight the beauty, sheer power and importance of our environment! We must reflect upon, be thankful for, and take action to protect our natural surroundings – for we have only one planet. It is the privilege and responsibility of our collective populace to ensure it remains a thriving sustainable place for future generations. And appreciation of our environment can begin with something as simple as getting outside. I adore the great outdoors! Bewildering rock formations, steep grassy slopes, violent crests of waves, mammoth blocks of ice; these are the sorts of images that come to mind when I think of nature in its pure form… majestic!