In order to address our world’s biodiversity crisis, we must explore every tool available to save species from extinction. This is the message of a new TED Monterey talk by Ryan Phelan, CEO of the nonprofit Revive & Restore. In her talk, titled “Intended Consequences of Helping Nature Thrive”, Ryan makes the case that we cannot allow a fear of unintended consequences to stifle our innovation and exploration of high-impact tools to prevent extinctions. Ryan shares real-world examples of conservation successes thanks to the use of biotechnology.
The concept of “Intended Consequences” encourages all of us to recognize and weigh the potential benefits biotechnology can bring to conservation in parallel with the risk. Research by Novak et al. reveals that conservation interventions over the past 100 years have successfully resulted in thousands of species benefiting, though many people are unaware of this.
Too often, a fear of uncertainty results in inaction, and therefore extinction. Our planet’s species do not have the luxury of time to wait and see what happens if we do nothing. Innovation is essential to saving our world’s plants and animals.