Ambitious and holistic goals key to saving Earth’s biodiversity, study says

A recently published study in the journal Science gives recommendations for decision-makers preparing to set new biodiversity goals at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2021. The researchers urge CBD negotiators and policymakers to consider three critical points as they create the new biodiversity goals: the goals must be multifaceted, developed holistically, and highly ambitious. “No net loss” of diversity is an example of a highly ambitious goal. Its targets include increasing natural ecosystem area, saving culturally important species, and conserving 90% of Earth’s genetic diversity. To turn the tide, the new biodiversity goals must be both highly ambitious and unified, and

How Australia Can Rise From The Ashes

The Australian mega-fires that occurred between July 2019 and February 2020 were unprecedented in their severity and the area they covered. Almost 100,000 square kilometers of southern Australian forest, woodlands, heathlands, grasslands, and farmlands burned. Read more here.

Change in terrestrial human footprint drives continued loss of intact ecosystems

Our ability to map humanity’s influence across Earth has evolved, thanks to powerful computing, a network of earth observing satellites, and new bottom-up census and crowd-sourced data. Here, we provide the latest temporally inter-comparable maps of the terrestrial Human Footprint, and assessment of change in human pressure at global, biome, and ecoregional scales. In 2013, 42% of terrestrial Earth could be considered relatively free of anthropogenic disturbance, and 25% could be classed as ‘wilderness’(the least degraded end of the human footprint spectrum). Between 2000 and 2013, 1.9 million km 2-an area the size of Mexico-of land relatively free of human disturbance became highly modified

Minimising the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in an intact landscape under risk of.....

Minimising the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in an intact landscape under risk of rapid agricultural development As humanity’s demand for resources continues to rise and productive arable lands become increasingly scarce, many of Earth’s remaining intact regions are at heightened risk of destruction from agricultural development. In situations where agricultural expansion is inevitable, it is important to manage intact landscape transformation so that impacts on environmental values are minimised. Here, we present a novel, spatially explicit, land use planning framework that addresses the decision making needed to account for different,

World’s protected areas lack connections, recent study finds

The world’s protected areas are largely a jumble of disjointed refuges, separated from each other by the encroachment of human impacts, a recent study has found. Fewer than 10% of these parks and preserves are connected by intact habitat, the research, published Sept. 11 in the journal Nature Communications, found, even as opportunities for connections exist: More than 40% of the Earth’s surface remains intact. Read full story here.

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