15% of ter­res­trial, 7% of marine ar­eas cur­rently cov­ered by pro­tected ar­eas: re­port

The Daily News Egypt - - Science - By Mo­hammed El-Said

OVER 20M KM2 OF EARTH’S LAND SUR­FACE, NEARLY 27M KM2 OF MARINE AR­EAS DES­IG­NATED AS ‘PRO­TECTED AR­EAS’

A new re­port re­vealed that around 15% of the world’s ter­res­trial ar­eas are bet­ter safe­guarded by con­ser­va­tion mea­sures, as well as over 7% of the world’s oceans, en­sur­ing that the world is on track to meet im­por­tant con­ser­va­tion tar­gets.

The newly is­sued Pro­tected Planet Re­port 2018 re­viewed the progress of the Aichi Bio­di­ver­sity Tar­get 11, which aims for the ef­fec­tive and eq­ui­table man­age­ment of 17% of ter­res­trial and 10% of coastal and marine ar­eas by 2020.The re­port con­cludes that the world is on track to meet the cov­er­age as­pect of Tar­get 11 and em­pha­sises the needs to meet other as­pects by 2020.

The find­ings in the re­port are based on data held in the World Database on Pro­tected Ar­eas (WDPA) as of July 2018.

Trevor Sand­with, the di­rec­tor of the In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture (IUCN) Global Pro­tected Ar­eas Pro­gramme, one of the part­ners who worked on the re­port, said that it is clear that there re­main sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges to achieve all el­e­ments of Aichi Bio­di­ver­sity Tar­get 11. How­ever, this re­port points out the sub­stan­tive and im­por­tant strides that have been achieved and fo­cuses at­ten­tion on the gaps and op­por­tu­ni­ties.Among these are the need to fully recog­nise and sup­port the ef­forts be­ing ac­com­plished by indige­nous peo­ples and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, as well as pri­vate ac­tors who con­serve crit­i­cal ar­eas.

The Pro­tected Planet re­port pro­vides the es­sen­tial in­for­ma­tion for de­ci­sion-mak­ers to base their de­ci­sions on achiev­ing the ex­ist­ing tar­gets by 2020, and most im­por­tantly to in­form the ap­proach for the post-2020 global bio­di­ver­sity frame­work be­ing dis­cussed last week in Egypt, ac­cord­ing to Sand­with.

The re­port was re­leased dur­ing the UN Con­fer­ence of the Par­ties of Bi­o­log­i­cal Di­ver­sity—COP14 which is be­ing held in Sharm El-Sheikh from 17 to 29 Novem­ber.

NA­TIONAL GE­O­GRAPHIC’S SUP­PORT OF THE PRO­TECTED PLANET RE­PORT AIMS TO CLEARLY DE­FINE PROGRESS AND CEL­E­BRATE NA­TIONS THAT ARE TAK­ING THE LEAD IN EN­SUR­ING A HEALTHY PLANET

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, by July 2018, more than 20m km2 of the earth’s land sur­face and nearly 27m km2 of marine ar­eas had been des­ig­nated as ‘Pro­tected Ar­eas,’ or lo­ca­tions that re­ceive pro­tec­tion to achieve the long-term con­ser­va­tion of na­ture.This rep­re­sents an in­crease in 0.2% of ter­res­trial and 3.2% of marine ar­eas since the last re­port was pub­lished in 2016. Ev­ery month, new ar­eas are be­ing added and the on­line ver­sion of the re­port pro­vides the lat­est in­for­ma­tion, as world lead­ers work to ful­fil their agreed goals by 2020.

Dur­ing the press con­fer­ence for the re­port’s re­lease, Neville Ash, di­rec­tor of United Na­tions En­vi­ron­ment World Con­ser­va­tion Mon­i­tor­ing Cen­tre (UNEP-WCMC) said that “the con­tin­ued growth in pro­tected ar­eas around the world is es­sen­tial for the fu­ture of bio­di­ver­sity.” She added that “in par­tic­u­lar, the great in­creases in pro­tec­tion of the marine en­vi­ron­ment over the past two years will play a key role in restor­ing the health of the ocean, and is thanks to a strong col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween coun­tries, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions.”

“We look for­ward to dis­cus­sions this week at the UN Bio­di­ver­sity Sum­mit fur­ther strength­en­ing pro­tec­tion for na­ture, as well as recog­nis­ing the need to en­sure pro­tected ar­eas are well re­sourced, and that wider ac­tion is taken to com­bat the mul­ti­ple threats faced by bio­di­ver­sity in and be­yond pro­tected ar­eas,” Ash said.

One of the part­ners in the re­port is the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic So­ci­ety. Jonathan Bail­lie, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and chief sci­en­tist at the So­ci­ety said dur­ing the press con­fer­ence that “progress to­ward these tar­gets is en­cour­ag­ing, but if we want to pro­tect life on earth, we must mas­sively raise our am­bi­tion.” He added that Na­tional Ge­o­graphic’s sup­port of the Pro­tected Planet re­port aims to clearly de­fine progress and cel­e­brate na­tions that are tak­ing the lead in en­sur­ing a healthy planet.

THE RE­PORT WAS RE­LEASED DUR­ING THE UN CON­FER­ENCE OF THE PAR­TIES OF BI­O­LOG­I­CAL DI­VER­SITY—COP14 WHICH IS BE­ING HELD IN SHARM EL-SHEIKH FROM 17 TO 29 NOVEM­BER

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