Blog Editor’s Picks: 7 CI Posts You Shouldn’t Miss in 2014

Yesterday, I shared your favorite blogs published on Human Nature in 2014. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite posts of the year.

herder and horse, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Herder on horseback in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. (© Conservation International/photo by Tessa Mildenhall)

These blogs may not have garnered quite as many views as yesterday’s list, but taken together, today’s stories provide showcase the range of geographies, voices and projects that define Conservation International. Enjoy!

1.     South Africa’s ‘Ecorangers’ Preserve Grasslands, Reduce Livestock Loss

Overgrazing has taken a toll on South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Gerbrand Nel explains how local “ecorangers” — think a traditional shepherd meshed with a GPS-toting field biologist — are bringing life back to these vital pastures.

2.     Urban Jungle: Why Cities Need Nature

In the first post in Human Nature’s series highlighting the links between intact ecosystems and thriving cities, Fabio Scarano makes a powerful case for why city-dwellers should care about what’s happening farther afield.

3.     Women’s Collective Revitalizes Costa Rican Island Community

Marco Quesada tells the story of several women who have overcome extreme opposition from their families, neighbors and beyond to bring income, education and security to a struggling coastal community on Costa Rica’s largest island.

4.     Nature Is Speaking — Is Humanity Listening?

Jennifer Morris moved to Namibia planning to launch a career in public health. What she experienced there convinced her that health and poverty issues had to be approached from another angle — an environmental one. In this post, she explains how CI’s Nature Is Speaking campaign came out of a similar sentiment: People need nature to thrive.

5.     Conservation Tools: Satellites Sound Fire Alarm in Tropical Forests

As technology continues to advance, humans discover new solutions that could save lives and help right the wrongs of past innovations like fossil fuel use, which has led to damaging climate change impacts across the globe. In this post, Karyn Tabor shares how villages in tropical countries are using data from NASA satellites (via technology created by CI) to help prevent and minimize damage from forest fires.

6.     Climate Scientists Are People, Too

When M. Sanjayan was asked what he learned while filming the recent Emmy-winning series “Years of Living Dangerously,” his answer was simple: “When it comes to science-laden topics like climate change, the messenger is as important as the message.”

7.     Filming in Cambodia, Part 1: Behind the Scenes with CI’s Video Team

It may be tacky to include something I wrote on this list, but I’ve done it to spotlight the incredible hard work of CI’s visual storytelling team, with whom I was lucky enough to visit Cambodia late last year. This blog miniseries documents some of the challenges the team deals with every day in the field, from noisy pigs to filming in a floating house.

These are just a few of the stories I’m most proud of this year; with 113 posts by 63 authors, it was quite a difficult task to narrow it down. I’m excited about what 2015 will hold for Human Nature, and I hope you, our readers, will stick around.

Molly Bergen is the senior managing editor of Human Nature.

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