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Conserving at least 30% of the Planet by 2030: What Should Count?

As governments negotiate the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, there is strong and growing global support for effectively protecting and conserving at least 30% of the earth’s land, sea and freshwater ecosystems by 2030. This brief seeks to bring clarity to the question of what could count toward the 30% global minimum target.

Read the brief in English here: Conserving at least 30% of the planet by 2030 – What should count?

Lire le bref en Français ici: Conserver au moins 30 % de la planète d’ici 2030 – qu’est-ce qui compte?

Lea el resumen en Español aquí: Conservar al menos el 30% del planeta para 2030 – ¿qué debe contar?

在这里阅读中文简介:到2030年保护地球上至 少30%的区域 目标区域有哪些?

Guidance and Resource for Draft Target 3 (at least 30% by 2030)

The current language of Draft Target 3 can be found here (CRP6ADD1) and will be negotiated prior to adoption at the CoP15 in Montreal in December, 2022. However, there are key elements of Draft Target 3 that are likely to remain and this guide attempts to provide an outline of the available guidance on these specific elements within the first draft Target 3.

Recognising and reporting other effective area-based conservation measures

In November 2018, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted at the 14th Conference of the Parties a definition of an “other effective area-based conservation measure” (OECM) as well as guiding principles, common characteristics and criteria for identification of OECMs (CBD/COP/DEC/14/8). OECMs may be managed for many different objectives but they must deliver effective conservation. They may be managed with conservation as a primary or secondary objective or long-term conservation may simply be the ancillary result of management activities.

Developing capacity for a protected planet

The Editorial Essay by Jonas et al. provides an overview of the CBD- and Task Force-related processes and the contribution that OECMs can make to
achievement of Aichi Target 11 and the post-2020 Biodiversity Framework. The rest of the Special Issue is dedicated to case studies of ‘potential OECMs’, which are areas that have been identified as having OECM-like characteristics but which have not yet been assessed against OECM criteria, also including consideration of the rights of the governing authorities (such as the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples and local communities).

Training materials on ‘other effective area-based conservation measures’

BfN’s International Academy for Nature Conservation and the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) have released a set of training materials on ‘Other effective area-based conservation measures’ (OECMs), to support awareness raising and capacity building.

Guidelines for privately protected areas

These guidelines address planning and management of privately protected areas (or PPAs) and the guidance is aimed principally at practitioners and policy makers, who are or may be involved with PPAs. Guidance is given on all aspects of PPA establishment, management and reporting, and information is provided on principles and best practices, with examples drawn from many different parts of the world. The aim of these guidelines is to shape the application of IUCN policy and principles towards enhanced effectiveness and conservation outcomes, focused on PPA managers and administrators.

The futures of privately protected areas

Privately protected areas deserve far greater recognition and support than is the case at the moment. Private conservation efforts can often fill important gaps in national policies in terms of both geographic cover and speed of response to conservation challenges, yet they remain a hidden resource: ignored by governments, omitted from international conservation reporting mechanisms and left out of regional conservation strategies. To date, the large majority of protected areas have been created on state-owned lands and waters, and while such initiatives are invaluable, they will not be enough to achieve the targets set by the Convention of Biological Diversity: 17 per cent of land and freshwater area and 12 per cent of coastal and marine areas. With this report, another major governance type, protected areas under private ownership, is receiving long-overdue recognition, and the hope is that it will bring them fully into the mainstream of global conservation practice.

Privately Protected Areas

To support capacity building on PPAs, BfN’s International Academy for Nature Conservation and the IUCN WCPA’s Specialist Group on Privately Protected Areas and Nature Stewardship have developed a set of training materials.

Sustainable Nature Reserves; Guidelines for PPAs.

Privately protected areas are powerful tools to restore and conserve natural habitats, protect species and create wildlife corridors. They are among the most effective ways for civil societies get involved in the climate and biodiversity crises. As the feeling urgency to protect our planet grows, awareness about the value of privately protected land, in addition to protected areas managed by governments, is increasing. The IUCN NL Land Acquisition Fund and American Bird Conservancy developed practical guidelines for people managing these reserves.

A Nature-Positive World: The Global Goal for Nature

Conservation and business organizations from around the world have launched a new paper in an unprecedented consensus. We must bend the curve on biodiversity loss to create a nature-positive world by 2030.

Read the paper by visiting: bit.ly/333ixm2

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Planetary Problems

Biodiversity and Climate

Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change

We are facing two interrelated crises: the loss of global biodiversity and rapid, human-caused climate changes. Extinction rates are estimated to be 1000 times the background rate and in the future, these rates could be 10,000 times higher. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released a report showing that around 1 million species are facing extinction because of human actions. The climate crisis not only threatens humanity and but also the viability of many species and ecosystems and exacerbates pressures nature is already facing.

Biodiversity loss is being driven primarily by habitat loss and fragmentation, and over-harvest.  At the same time, the 2019 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate and Land concluded human land use (including deforestation, destruction of carbon-sequestering ecosystems, and livestock) accounts for 23% of green-house gas emissions.

In the face of these global problems, the countries of the world have come together to act under two UN conventions: The United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with the Paris Agreement, and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and its Aichi Targets for 2010-2020.

Protected and conserved areas are the key solution to preventing biodiversity loss and can help us mitigate our carbon emissions. Under the CBD, countries have currently agreed through Aichi Target 11 to protect a minimum of 17% terrestrial and inland waters, and 10% marine and coastal areas by 2020 in protected and conserved areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, and to ensure they are effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative, well-connected systems of protected areas and integrated into the wider landscape and seascape. But despite this treaty pledge, biodiversity continues to decline. In order to create an equitable, nature-positive, carbon-neutral world, we must work together and act now.

The Aichi Target was an interim target, based on perceptions of political acceptability rather than a scientific assessment of what is required. So what does the science say about what do we need to do beyond 2020 for nature to not only survive, but thrive?  And how can big global conservation targets be implemented in a crowded world of 7.6 billion people?

The Case for Action at Scale

A Nature-Positive World: The Global Goal for Nature

By Harvey Locke, Johan Rockström, Peter Bakker, Manish Bapna, Mark Gough, Jodi Hilty, Marco Lambertini, Jennifer Morris, Paul Polman, Carlos M. Rodriguez, Cristián Samper, M. Sanjayan, Eva Zabey and Patricia Zurita.
Published in NaturePositive.org, April, 2021


This paper argues for the adoption of a succinct Nature-Positive Global Goal for Nature. It calls for integrating actions for human development, nature, and the climate across all aspects of human activities, and achieving an improvement in the condition of nature by 2030. It also calls for a fundamental realignment in the way we see our relationship with nature. Nature is the context for everything humans do, not a competing interest with either human development or the economy. This paper represents an unprecedented consensus among the world’s leading environmental organizations and businesses.

A Review of Evidence for Area-based Conservation Targets for the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework

By Stephen Woodley, Harvey Locke, Dan Laffoley, Kathy MacKinnon, Trevor Sandwith and Jane Smart
Published in PARKS the International Journal of Protected Areas and Conservation, Nov 2019


What is the scientific evidence for large scale percentage area conservation targets? This literature review examines current area-based conservation targets and proposals for higher targets. Here are some of its findings:

  • The minimum targets of 17% terrestrial and inland waters, and 10% marine and coastal targets from Aichi Target 11, are not considered adequate to conserve biodiversity by any research findings, either for ocean or for land.
  • The global protection of a minimum of 30% and up to 70%, or even higher, of the land and sea on earth is supported in the literature. Importantly, the suggested higher conservation targets are not discounted in any of the biodiversity literature. The call for 50% of the earth is a mid-point of these values and is supported by a range of studies.

A Global Survey of Conservation Scientists

By  Stephen Woodley, Nina Bhola, Calum Maney and Harvey Locke
Published in PARKS the International Journal of Protected Areas and Conservation, Nov 2019


In 2017-18, we surveyed 335 conservation scientists, from 81 countries to obtain their views on area-based conservation (as shown on the map). Here are some of its findings:

  • Nearly unanimously, area-based conservation is considered to be important to conserve biodiversity (99.3%).
  • There is very strong agreement that Target 11 is not adequate to conserve biodiversity (79.8% agreement).
  • Conservation scientists showed very strong support (76% strongly agreed or agreed) for large scale percentage area conservation targets, in the order of 50% of the earth.
Three Global Conditions for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use: an implementation framework

To save what’s left of nature on this increasingly human planet, conservation needs to become a top priority around the world, from the wildest of wildlands to the densest of cities.

The national boundaries on the interactive and downloadable maps are for general reference and do not reflect a position on any territorial disagreements.

A Three Conditions framework for the Ocean

The Task Force, in partnership with IUCN WCPA Marine and other experts, is in the process of developing a Three Conditions framework for the oceans.  Please sign up for our newsletter to receive updates.

How the ocean is key to life on earth

How the ocean is key to life on earth

A healthy ocean is of tremendous value to humanity. The ocean provides food and supports livelihoods, offers shoreline protection from storms and floods, and also helps regulate the earth’s climate. The healthier it is, the better it will be able to perform those roles.

But the ocean is being disproportionately impacted by increased carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Because of climate change, the ocean is changing in ways that harms biodiversity and also impacts humans. The ocean is becoming warmer, more acidic and is undergoing deoxygenation leading to changes in oceanic circulation and chemistry, rising sea levels, increased storm intensity, as well as changes in the diversity and abundance of marine species.

Created by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Government) in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

About

Appointed by the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, the Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force is building global momentum to scale up conservation of nature beyond the Aichi Targets for Biodiversity set at the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2010. The Task Force’s goal is to ensure the new global conservation targets set at the next Conference of the Parties of the CBD in 2020 are meaningful for achieving the conservation of nature and halting of biodiversity loss. Informed by the best available science and a range of perspectives from around the world, the Task Force will ask and seek to answer what are truly sustainable conservation targets for all ecoregions, both marine and terrestrial, while considering the varying ecological and social conditions of the world.

The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of IUCN. The Beyond the Aichi Task Force is contributing to an IUCN position and informing a broader global dialogue through its work.

View the Beyond the Aichi Targets Task Force profile on the IUCN website.

The Task Force Working Team

Our team works with NGOs, governments, businesses, and scientists from around the world.

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