Planetary Safety Nets

spider web with rain drops on it.

World leaders are preparing to join a key summit on biodiversity being hosted in New York amid mounting evidence that governments are failing to halt the unprecedented loss of species around the world (IPBES report, 2019). Scientists at Resolve have drawn up a blueprint for a planetary “safety net” of protected areas they argue could help halt catastrophic biodiversity loss. Some interesting facts from this article,

  1. Existing protected areas make up about 15% of the Earth’s landmass.
  2. Current unprotected areas that are home to particularly rare species would require protecting another 2.3% of the planet’s landmass.
  3. 6% of land that is home to the largest number of distinct clusters of species requires another 6% of protected space.
  4. Conserving the habitat of the largest mammals on the planet requires protecting another additional 6.3% of landmass.
  5. Protect another 16% of land that makes up the most intact ecosystems with little or no human impact.
  6. The scientists added areas that should be protected to prevent further climate breakdown.

The global safety net should span 50.4% of the Earth’s landmass. This is consistent with the campaign, Nature needs half.