Nature Protected Areas Reach A Landmass Larger Than Russia
Since 2010, A landmass a little larger than Russia has been added to the world’s network of national parks and conservation areas, that's over 8.1 million square miles. That means about 17% of Earth's land and inland water habitats and 8% of marine areas are now within protected areas that are being conserved and managed.
Since 2010, when the Aichi 11 targets were set at the 10th Biodiversity Conference in Japan, new protected areas have been added every month as national governments and other stakeholders expand their efforts. One recent example is Australia’s recent announcement to pledge $100 Million to protect the ocean and ocean fronts. And finally taking climate change as a serious national security issue.
By far the greatest growth area in the last 10 years has been marine and coastal areas where 68% of the current conservation network’s area is less than ten years old. According to a new report from the UN Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), "The international community has made major progress towards the global target,”
Which is very different from the daily doom and gloom we have all recently become accustomed to when it comes to environmental destruction and climate change. “It is clear that coverage on land will considerably exceed the 17% target when data for all areas are made available, as many protected and conserved areas remain unreported.”
The next global biodiversity framework is due to be agreed at the UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming, China, in October 2021 and it is expected to scale up coverage and effectiveness of protected and conserved areas.
The challenge will be to improve the quality of both existing and new conservation areas and habitats, including creating a global interconnected mesh network that allows species to move or migrate and Earth's ecological processes to function properly.
More needs to be done to manage protected and conserved areas and habitats fairly so that the costs of conservation are not a burden for local people to endure while its benefits, including the relief of climate change, are enjoyed by others. This is key to building a global interconnected conservation mesh network that has the support and participation of people on Earth everywhere.
While individuals, organizations, and governments worldwide are finally starting to work together on a comprehensive plan to reduce or reverse climate change, this is a fight we are all in together. It takes each and one of us to do our best to restore the planet and protect our furry or scaley neighbors and hold the resource corporations driving climate change accountable and under public scrutiny.