Planetary ‘safety net’ could halt wildlife loss and slow climate breakdown

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. Earlier this month, a UN report revealed that the international community had failed to fully achieve any of the 20 biodiversity targets agreed in 2010. But scientists at the environmental research organisation Resolve have drawn up a blueprint for a planetary “safety net” of protected areas they say could help halt catastrophic biodiversity loss. Read more here.

Research finds nearly all of protected habitats are 'disconnected'

More than 90 per cent of the world’s protected wildlife habitats are "disconnected", new research has found, greatly reducing their ability to support the plants and wildlife they were established to protect. Most nations on Earth have established protected areas to help conserve wildlife and plant species and maintain a functional ecosystem. Read more here.

Wilderness Area the Size of Mexico Lost in 13 Years Because of Humans, Study Finds

An area of intact wilderness the size of Mexico has been significantly changed — and much of it was lost forever — in just 13 years, a new study found. From 2000 to 2013, humans modified 734,000 square miles of land that had remained relatively undisturbed, according to the study published in the journal One Earth. Read more here.

Protect Indigenous People’s rights to avoid a sixth extinction

Humanity today face multiple crises. A pandemic grips societies around the globe and with each passing year greed, poor governance, and naivete push us further toward a climate change forced sixth great extinction and the collapse of ecosystems. It may already be too late to prevent the looming catastrophe of climate change. But there is an overlooked and undervalued blueprint for our survival. We must turn for help to the Indigenous Peoples who have, for millennia, provided effective stewardship of our planet. Read full story here.

Bending the curve of terrestrial biodiversity needs an integrated strategy

Increased efforts are required to prevent further losses to terrestrial biodiversity and the ecosystem services that it provides1,2. Ambitious targets have been proposed, such as reversing the declining trends in biodiversity3; however, just feeding the growing human population will make this a challenge4. Here we use an ensemble of land-use and biodiversity models to assess whether—and how—humanity can reverse the declines in terrestrial biodiversity caused by habitat conversion, which is a major threat to biodiversity5. We show that immediate efforts, consistent with the broader sustainability agenda but of unprecedented ambition and coordination, could enable the provision of food for th

Living Planet Report 2020

The findings of The Living Planet Report 2020 are clear. Our relationship with nature is broken. Biodiversity - the rich diversity of life on Earth - is being lost at an alarming rate. The impacts of this loss on our well-being are mounting. And catastrophic impacts for people and planet loom closer than ever. Time is running out. We must take action now if nature is going to recover. Read here.

Government's threatened species plan 'last chance to get it right'

The Federal Government is being urged to massively expand efforts to save native plants and animals from extinction, as it develops a decade-long plan for threatened species. Environment Minister Sussan Ley says technological innovation will be key, especially when it comes to controlling feral pests and predators. She also says many lessons have been learnt from the summer bushfires, which killed an estimated three billion animals. Listen here.

Impact of 2019–2020 mega-fires on Australian fauna habitat

Australia’s 2019–2020 mega-fires were exacerbated by drought, anthropogenic climate change and existing land-use management. Here, using a combination of remotely sensed data and species distribution models, we found these fires burnt ~97,000 km2 of vegetation across southern and eastern Australia, which is considered habitat for 832 species of native vertebrate fauna. Seventy taxa had a substantial proportion (>30%) of habitat impacted; 21 of these were already listed as threatened with extinction. To avoid further species declines, Australia must urgently reassess the extinction vulnerability of fire-impacted species and assist the recovery of populations in both burnt and unburnt areas. P

Recent Australian wildfires made worse by logging and associated forest management

The recent fires in southern Australia were unprecedented in scale and severity. Much commentary has rightly focused on the role of climate change in exacerbating the risk of fire. Here, we contend that policy makers must recognize that historical and contemporary logging of forests has had profound effects on these fires’ severity and frequency. Read more here.

Renewable energy production will exacerbate mining threats to biodiversity

Renewable energy production is necessary to halt climate change and reverse associated biodiversity losses. However, generating the required technologies and infrastructure will drive an increase in the production of many metals, creating new mining threats for biodiversity. Here, we map mining areas and assess their spatial coincidence with biodiversity conservation sites and priorities. Mining potentially influences 50 million km2 of Earth’s land surface, with 8% coinciding with Protected Areas, 7% with Key Biodiversity Areas, and 16% with Remaining Wilderness. Most mining areas (82%) target materials needed for renewable energy production, and areas that overlap with Protected Areas and R

Mining needed for renewable energy 'could harm biodiversity'

Study warns sites must be protected in search for materials to build infrastructure. The mining necessary for producing renewable energy could exacerbate threats to biodiversity, researchers have found. The production of renewable energy requires metals and other materials which are mined. Researchers mapped the areas around more than 60,000 mining properties to assess whether they overlapped with biodiversity conservation sites. Read more here.

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