Protecting and conserving nature plays a significant role in addressing biodiversity loss, and the international community has made noteworthy progress in this pursuit but has fallen far short of its commitments on the quality of the results. Biodiversity continues to decline despite the increase in the number of protected areas. The Aichi Target 11 is the global 10-year target on protected and conserved areas which includes a goal of protecting at least 17% of land and inland water, and 10% of the marine environment. As the final report card of Target 11, UNEP and IUCN produced the latest edition of the biennial Protected Planet Report, in which states that 22 million km2 (16.64%) of land and 28 million km2 (7.78%) of the ocean have been protected or conserved, with 42% of current coverage having been added in the last decade. However, the report shows that one-third of key biodiversity areas whether on land or below water are still not protected at all. And one-third of the world’s conservation hotspots are islands. Effectiveness and equity are crucial in the development and implementation of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. To be effective, the challenge lies in improving the quality of both existing and new areas to achieve positive change for people and nature – this means expanding protected areas to biodiversity hotspots. On top of this, strategies must include the efforts of indigenous peoples, local communities, and private entities, while recognizing their rights and responsibilities. To measure the changes in the quality of protection and conservation measures, the IUCN established the Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas, which is the first global standard of best practice for area-based conservation. For SIDS, biodiversity is a central issue for their cultural values and economic growth, and they are ramping up climate action like never before. Through the UNDP's SIDS Offer, SIDS are leveraging nature-based solutions such as mapping 'essential life support areas' and integrating Ridge-to-Reef initiatives.
Access the full report here.
Access UNEP' press release here