An area larger than Russia’s land mass has been added to the global network of national parks and conservation areas since 2010, amid mounting pressure to protect nature.
As of today, about 17% of terrestrial and inland water ecosystems and 8% of marine areas are within formal protected areas, with total coverage increasing by 42% since the beginning of the last decade, according to him Protected Planet Report by the United Nations Environment Program (Unep) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The Protected Planet report is the final report card Aichi Meta 11 – the 10-year global objective on protected and conserved areas. The UN estimated that 16.64% of land and inland waters have been protected to date, but concluded that governments had met the 17% target due to a delay in submitting data. The 17% ambition was only one of the seven parts of Aichi’s Goal 11. Governments have not fully met any of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010.
Despite making significant progress, the report warns, a third of key biodiversity areas lack coverage, connectivity between nature-protected areas remains poor, and gaps persist in the quality of conservation work.
“Many protected and conserved areas are not showing effectiveness,” said James Hardcastle, who leads the IUCN green list initiative. “Not enough attention has been paid to quality. They are unable to develop their true potential. “
The report comes as a new public-private scheme backed by the German government to provide long-term financing for biodiverse areas in developing countries that launches on Wednesday. Known as the Legacy Landscapes Background (LLF), aims to provide stable funding for at least 30 conservation areas by the end of this decade to pay park rangers, support surrounding communities, and maintain infrastructure. Under the 30×30 initiative, more than 50 countries have committed to protecting nearly a third of the planet by 2030.
Through public and private donors, LLF aims to become one of the world’s largest nature conservation foundations, with $ 1 billion (£ 700 million) of capital by 2030. Pilot projects in Angola, Indonesia and Bolivia are among those selected for launch.
Stefanie Lang, Executive Director of LLF, said: “It is much easier to find funding for something spectacular like introducing a rhinoceros than the operational costs for monitoring and law enforcement. That is the gap that the fund wants to close: establish something that guarantees financing in perpetuity. “
Lang said the fund was looking at schemes like the IUCN green list, a standard that aims to maintain high-quality governance, planning, management and preservation of nature in protected and conserved areas, an initiative also highlighted by the Protected Planet report.
Hardcastle welcomed the increased momentum around the protected areas outlined in the report, but said there were big caveats and that respect for human rights and indigenous communities must be at the heart of expanding protected areas.
“It is not just about creating new areas. It is the identification and full recognition of existing areas that could be governed by indigenous peoples, local communities and private actors. That will be the key to the future, “he said.
Approximately 22.5 million square kilometers (16.64%) of terrestrial and inland water ecosystems are found within documented protected and conserved areas, according to the Protected Planet report.
Neville Ash, director of Unep’s Conservation Monitoring Center, said governments must ensure that biodiversity and benefits to people are at the center of the UN agreement for this decade, which is scheduled to be formalized in Kunming. , China, later this year. Protecting 30% of the world’s oceans and land is likely to be one of the 20 goals.
“Protected areas are only one part of the solution to address the biodiversity crisis and the opportunities that lie ahead. They need to sit alongside broader sustainability measures, sustainable consumption and production patterns, aligning financial flows for the benefit of nature and reducing perverse subsidies, ”said Ash.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism