The research found that some 64 million square kilometers (24.7 million square miles) – 44% of Earth’s land – need “conservation attention” to avoid major biodiversity losses.
“We must act quickly, our models show that over 1.3 million square kilometers of this important land – an area larger than South Africa – is likely to see its habitat cleared for human uses by 2030 , which would be devastating to wildlife,” he added. said lead author Dr. James R. Allan of the University of Amsterdam in a press release.
The study, which used advanced data modeling and algorithmic projections to map optimal areas for species and ecosystem conservation, was described by the authors as “a conservation blueprint for the planet”.
The authors said these areas do not necessarily need to be designated as protected areas, but other strategies could be used to conserve ecosystems, including land use control policies.
The new research also found that 1.87 billion people, about a quarter of Earth’s population, live in areas needing special attention, mostly in developing countries in Africa, Central America and the United States. ‘Asia.
A coalition of 70 countries is expected to pledge to protect 30% of their land and oceans by 2030, in a draft global treaty expected to be finalized in the third quarter of this year.
New $500 million fund for conservation
The release of the report coincided with a major UN conference on the environment in Stockholm, where UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on world leaders to end a “suicidal war on nature”.
He also warned that unless humanity acts now, “we won’t have a habitable planet”.
“We know what to do. And, increasingly, we have the tools to do it. But we still lack leadership and cooperation. So today, I call on leaders in all sectors: get us out of this mess,” said António Guterres.
To this end, Italy and Sweden have announced their support for a new international fund which aims to invest at least $500 million in developing countries to help with climate protection.
The Climate Investment Funds (CIF), one of the largest multilateral climate finance instruments, launched its Nature, People, and Climate (NPC) program at the Stockholm conference on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
The new program should give indigenous peoples a greater role in the conservation of the local environment and the fight against climate change.
“Nature-based solutions help reduce emissions, help communities adapt to climate change and protect biodiversity,” Matilda Ernkrans, Sweden’s Minister for International Development, said in a statement.
The intensification of efforts to conserve and manage natural parks, oceans and forests is essential to safeguard biodiversity and maintain the balance of ecosystems on which humans depend and to limit the devastating effects of global warming.
The new NPC program plans to invest in efforts to scale up approaches such as carbon storage, mangrove restoration and climate resilience in small island developing states, sub-Saharan Africa and forest countries around the world , according to Reuters.