A report released by the UN shows that the number of protected natural areas on the planet has increased in recent years!
And this has to do with the 20 goals established in 2010, to be accomplished by 2020. The so-called AICHIs, intend to stop the decline of biodiversity in the world.
“Today, 22.5 million km² of land and inland waters (16.64% of the world total) and 28.1 million km² of marine and coastal areas (7.74%) are in documented protected areas, a an increase of more than 21 million km² since 2010″, according to a statement.
The report also pointed out the goals. The goal was to reach 17% of land areas and 10% of marine areas. Although only the first index has been reached, the achievement is being celebrated.
The quality of protection
According to UNEP and IUCN, almost 42% of protected areas were created in the last decade.
For Trevor Sandwith, director of the IUCN protected areas program, this number reports a “great effort on the part of countries”.
And so that all nations increasingly adopt better and more assertive environmental measures, the IUCN has developed a list of factors to define the proper functioning of environmental protection zones, such as sufficient size, effective regulation, finances and necessary knowledge.
The list contains an indication that “protected areas must be more connected to each other to allow species to move and ecological processes to work”. This should be a more emergency action, as “only 8% of land is protected and connected at the same time”.
New Action Board
The publication of the report takes place six months before COP15, when new targets will be established to be met by 2030.
The new goals bring the prospect of greater participation by indigenous peoples, according to IUCN and UNEP. In fact. These groups fear that the creation of protected areas will be a pretext to evict them their land, as has already happened in many countries.
Protecting nature does not mean ending human activities, according to Sandwith, but rather promoting sustainable practices, agriculture and fishing to tourism, he adds.