Environment: Call for Endangered Animals and Plants

It protects only 1.2% of its surface Place it would be enough to prevent most of them from disappearing endangered species according to a new study in the world.

Analysis published in the journal Frontiers in science found that the targeted expansion of protected areas on land would be enough to prevent the extinction of thousands of mammals, birds, amphibians, and plants closest to extinction.

From Argentina to Papua New Guinea, a team of researchers has identified 16,825 areas that should be prioritized for conservation over the next five years to prevent the imminent extinction of animals and plants found nowhere else in the world.

Dr Eric Dinerstein, lead author of the study and from the environmental organization Resolve, said the team was trying to identify the rarest species in the world with small distribution areas. As an example, they used the peyote cactus, whose remaining range may be limited to small parts of the Chihuahuan Desert in North America.

“Most species on Earth are considered rare because they either occur in extremely limited areas, or occur at very low population densities, or both,” said Dr. Eric Dinerstein.

Only the expansion of protected areas is not enough

This research is focused on preventing impending extinction, not everything needed to bring nature back to Earth.

Scientists emphasize that in addition to the expansion of protected areas, other measures are needed to prevent the destruction of biodiversity and protect ecosystems that are vital to human societies.

In 2020, researchers identified half of Earth’s land surface that, if protected, could reverse biodiversity loss and enhance natural carbon sequestration.

38% of identified areas, which the authors call “conservation priority areas,” are within 1.5 miles (2.5 km) of an existing protected area, indicating that they may be relatively immediate and positive conservation actions.

The Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, Madagascar and Colombia together host more than half of these areas.

Failure of governments to protect biodiversity

In 2022, governments committed to conserving 30% of the planet for nature under the UN’s biodiversity goals. According to the organization, 16.6% of the Earth’s surface and inland waters are already protected, and many governments are in the process of deciding where to expand protected areas.

However, the study found that governments often fail to protect areas in urgent need of protection. The authors estimate that between 2018 and 2023, only 7% of newly protected areas will host the most threatened species.

“Despite recent debates about species extinction, the biodiversity crisis and what needs to be done, between 2018 and 2023 only 7% of new protected areas overlap with conservation priority areas,” noted Dr Eric Dinerstein.

He added: “Nearly countries use a reverse selection algorithm and select non-rare areas to add to global protected areas. The message of this study is that we need to significantly improve our efforts over the next five years, and we can do so.”

Protecting the areas the researchers identified would cost $29-46 billion (£23-36 billion) over the next five years and cover 1.6 million square kilometers (630,000 square miles). This can be achieved through land acquisition, expansion of rights and entitlements of indigenous peoples, and creation of protected areas on public lands.

The study compared global data on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and plants with existing protected areas and identified the remaining habitats of endangered species using satellite analysis.

Most of the areas identified for urgent conservation were in the tropics, but grasslands, temperate broadleaf forests and tundras were also identified.

Professor Neil Burgess, senior scientist at the UN Environment Programme’s Global Conservation Monitoring Centre, which is responsible for monitoring global progress in expanding protected areas, said the study was useful for prompting action on the topic.

The study is an important reminder that “achieving 30% coverage with protected and protected areas alone is not enough, and the location, quality and effectiveness of these protected and protected areas will determine how well they play their part in halting biodiversity loss. concluded Professor Neil Burgess.

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