TED’s 10 top talks on conservation

When it comes to ground breaking and innovative ideas that really get people talking, you’ve probably heard of TED. TED started back in 1984 as a conference that brought technology, design and entertainment together, but over the decades it has grown far beyond that. Now, it’s exciting to see some of the world’s leading conservationists taking to the stage to share ideas that might just help save the planet.  Here’s a round up of our favourite conservation TED talks.

1. A drone’s-eye view of conservation

With more than half a million views, this talk by ecologist Lian Pin Koh has truly captured people’s imagination. Ground surveys of remote tropical forests are difficult and expensive and as such, are conducted far too infrequently. To get around this problem, Lian has pioneered the use of low-cost drones for conservation, and even founded the project  ConservationDrones.org.

2. How poachers became caretakers

John Kasaona hails from Namibia and is striving to reinvent conservation from the ground up, but with communities at its core. At the same time, he’s trying to improve the lives of rural people in Namibia and involve them in the management of the lands they depend on. A profound and inspiring talk that might just change the way you think about poachers.

3. Feeding 9 Billion and Maintaining the Planet

The challenge for conservation in the next century is inextricably linked to our growing population. How do we protect wildlife and feed the world? That’s a huge question, but in this TEDxWWF talk Jason Clay helps us take a giant leap in the right direction.

4. The great white lie

Everything you’ve ever been told about sharks is a lie. They are surely amongst the most persecuted and maligned species on our oceans, and if we’re not careful they might just disappear. Few people can talk on the subject more passionately than William Winram who shares first hand encounters with tiger sharks as well as the iconic great white.

5. For more wonder, rewild the world

Veteran environmental journalist George Monbiot needs little introduction. Here, he wades into the rewilding debate unleashing possibly the most eloquent and passionate argument for wildlife we’ve ever heard. Sit back and listen, the future could be bright, the future could be wild.

6. Lessons from a thousand years of island sustainability

With more than three decades of experience, Sam Ohu Gon III is a world expert on Hawaiian ecology and sustainability. On a mission to blend culture and conservation, here he describes what we can learn from the true Hawaii.

7. How humans and animals can live together

Jane Goodall is legendary among primatologists for her pioneering work on chimpanzees. Yet the future has never been more uncertain for our closest living relatives. Can humans and animals live together? Watch this talk to find out (and hear some impressive chimpanzee impersonations!).

8. Is There Hope For Conservation?

When it comes to conservation, most news is bad news. Faced with endless depressing headlines, is there hope? In this talk James Borrell shares his uniquely optimistic outlook, highlighting how far we’ve come and the species we’ve saved against all the odds. Conservation works, we just need more of it.

9. De-extinction: a game-changer for conservation biology

Is extinction the end? Maybe not argues Stanley Temple at TEDxDeExtinction. Here, Stanley introduces a concept that might change the way we think about conservation. It’s exciting, it’s dangerous, it might just change the way we do conservation. Are we ready? That’s the real question.

10. How we brought the condor back from the brink

Back in 1987, there were just 22 Californian condors left in the world, all of them in captivity. Now, incredibly, they number more than 200. Here, Michael Mace recounts what must be one of the greatest success stories in conservation, the return of the iconic condor.