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SDSN and Partners release a publication in Nature Ecology and Evolution

We are collectively failing to conserve the world’s biodiversity and to mobilize natural solutions to help curb global warming. A new study carried out by the Nature Map Consortium, shows that managing a strategically placed 30% of land for conservation could safeguard 70% of all considered terrestrial plant and vertebrate animal species, while simultaneously conserving more than 62% of the world’s above and below ground vulnerable carbon, and 68% of all clean water.

Biodiversity, in other words, the diversity of life on Earth, is distributed unevenly and in various forms across the world. In any given place, species form an intricate web of interactions that shape ecosystems and provide important services that humans need to survive. Human activities are however driving habitat and biodiversity loss at an alarming rate. To stop this decline, we need to rethink the way we manage our land, fresh water, and oceans. Critically, biodiversity conservation should not be treated in isolation of other global policy targets. This requires assessing where biodiversity conservation would bring the greatest benefits to other policy objectives.

SDSN and partners have released their newest publication in Nature Ecology and Evolution today. The publication - which discusses the most important areas to bolster conservation efforts - is a thorough exploration of Earth's biodiversity issue and its relation to water and carbon conservation.

The authors of the paper set out to determine areas of global importance to manage for conservation to simultaneously protect the greatest number of species from extinction, conserve vulnerable terrestrial carbon stocks, and safeguard freshwater resources. Important to this objective is a new global priority map that shows quality (location) is more important than quantity (global extent) when identifying new areas to manage conservation. In doing so, the paper's goal is to advise policymakers and governments on where their resources can yield the greatest results.

The study demonstrates that jointly optimizing for biodiversity, carbon, and water does not compromise how much can be gained from conservation compared to placing emphasis on any individual asset alone. By taking action in the right places, significant co-benefits can be achieved for all three elements. The research has also been useful in updating and improving the information on all other areas of global importance for biodiversity conservation.
Read the Study
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