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Scientists recommend that a Global Deal for Nature focus on three themes: protecting biodiversity; mitigating climate change; and reducing threats to species’ persistence and ecosystem intactness.

The Global Deal for Nature calls for protecting at least 30 percent of lands by 2030, with an additional 20 percent of land protected as climate stabilization areas.

The authors conclude that a Global Deal for Nature that ensures the Earth has at least 50 percent intact natural habitat by 2030 is the “only path that will enable a climate-resilient future.”

May 2019: Scientists have issued a renewed call for a ‘Global Deal for Nature’ (GDN) to “save the diversity and abundance of life on Earth” and to “fast-track the protection and restoration of all natural habitat by 2030.” They argue the GDN could provide a companion pact to the Paris Agreement on climate change, which could help conserve species, avoid catastrophic climate change and secure essential ecosystem services.

In 2017, 49 scientists called for a GDN that would protect the terrestrial environment to end the species “extinction crisis” and sustain human livelihoods. In an April 2019 Science article, scientists presented an updated GDN that includes land, freshwater and marine ecosystems. The updated GDN calls for protecting at least 30 percent of lands by 2030, with an additional 20 percent of land protected as “climate stabilization areas” (CSAs).

In the article titled, ‘A Global Deal for Nature: Guiding Principles, Milestones and Targets,’ the authors outline the urgency of protecting biodiversity, and identify specific threats and drivers of biodiversity loss. They suggest a GDN could help to prevent species extinctions and the “rapid erosion of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms.” The authors emphasize that this approach is critical for safeguarding biodiversity, and is also the “cheapest and fastest alternative for addressing climate change.”

A Global Deal for Nature could help prevent the rapid erosion of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms.

The authors recommend a GDN focus on three themes: protecting biodiversity by conserving at least 30 percent of the Earth’s surface by 2030; mitigating climate change; and reducing threats to species’ persistence and ecosystem intactness. The authors recommend that conservation biologists and planners focus on ensuring representative coverage of habitats and species in efforts to increase biodiversity conservation rather than adding more land to reach a global target that is similar to what has already been conserved, and avoid the temptation to protect low-conflict areas that may be a low biodiversity priority. They propose CSAs in habitats like mangroves, peatlands, grasslands and boreal and tropical rainforest areas. To achieve climate mitigation targets, the authors recommend enhancing efforts to maintain at least 85 percent forest cover in critical locations, like the Amazon and other CSAs.

The authors conclude that a GDN that ensures the Earth has at least 50 percent intact natural habitat by 2030 is the “only path that will enable a climate-resilient future.” They state that, with large-scale adoption of common conservation approaches, including protected areas, sustainable fisheries management, renewable energy and regenerative agriculture, combined with existing technologies, it is possible to advance economic and environmental objectives and support the material needs of human populations. The authors state that the gross costs of these nature conservation measures globally could be up to USD 100 billion annually, and suggest that financial investments from the fisheries, insurance and tourism industries could contribute as much as one-third of that commitment.

A GDN website presents a petition that individuals can sign to call on world leaders to protect the planet. [Publication: A Global Deal for Nature] [GDN Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on 2018 Call for a GDN]

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