The ‘Protected Planet Report’ states that seven percent of coastal and marine areas and 15 percent of terrestrial areas are now designated as protected areas.
The report is expected to inform discussions at COP 14 on the approach for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
The publication illustrates the contributions of protected areas to progress on each of the SDGs.
19 November 2018: The UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the National Geographic Society issued the 2018 ‘Protected Planet Report,’ which finds that the world is on track to meet conservation targets. The report reviews progress towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, which aims to achieve effective and equitable management of ten percent of coastal and marine areas and 17 percent of terrestrial areas by 2020.
UNEP-WCMC and IUCN have published the biennial report since 2012, when Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) encouraged the agencies to “continue to report on progress towards achieving Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and related targets through the Protected Planet Report.” The organizations released the report at the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the CBD, which is taking place from 14-29 November in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The report is expected to inform COP 14 discussions on the approach for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
The Protected Planet Report states that seven percent of coastal and marine areas and 15 percent of terrestrial areas are now designated as protected areas. These figures represent an increase of 3.2 percent of marine areas and 0.2 percent of terrestrial areas since the last Protected Planet Report was published in 2016. The report states that both marine and terrestrial targets are likely to be achieved by 2020 “with concerted efforts from governments to implement national commitments” but observes that additional protected areas will be needed to achieve a full representation of areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services. The report elaborates that there is no dataset to assess levels of protection of “areas of importance for ecosystem services,” stressing that this limitation remains a key gap in measuring progress towards coverage of key biodiversity areas (KBAs).
With concerted efforts from governments to implement national commitments, both marine and terrestrial targets are likely to be achieved by 2020.
The report illustrates the benefits that protected areas provide to address environmental and societal challenges, contributing to progress on the SDGs. On SDG 1 (no poverty), the report highlights the role of biodiversity in supporting a range of economic activities, such as subsistence agriculture and fisheries that provide livelihoods for many of the world’s rural poor. On SDG 4 (quality education), the report urges raising awareness of the significance of protecting biodiversity for sustainable development, and notes that protected areas located close to urban centers can provide citizens with basic knowledge on the importance of ecosystem functioning. On SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), the report states that environmental crime can undermine sustainable development and threaten global security, and notes that conflicts over natural resources can lead to social insecurity. The report elaborates on how enhancing the rule of law and equity for governance of biodiversity, including protected areas, can contribute to an inclusive society based on democratic values and justice. The report presents similar rationales and examples for each SDG.
Although the report recognizes progress towards Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, many leaders stressed the importance of continued progress to achieve the Target. National Geographic Society Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist, Jonathan Baillie, said progress “is encouraging but if we want to protect life on Earth, we must massively raise our ambition.” UNEP-WCMC Director, Neville Ash, welcomed increases in marine protection over the past two years while stressing the importance of further strengthening protection of nature and recognizing the need to “ensure protected areas are well resourced” and calling for wider action to combat multiple threats faced by biodiversity in and beyond protected areas. IUCN Protected Areas Programme Director, Trevor Sandwith, underscored the need to “recognize and support efforts by indigenous peoples and local communities” and private actors who conserve critical areas.
The online version of the Protected Planet Report is updated monthly on a publicly available online platform with submissions from governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), communities and landowners. The publication is based on data contained in the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), which UNEP-WCMC and IUCN maintain. [Publication: Protected Planet Digital Report] [UNEP Press Release] [UNEP-WCMC Press Release] [IUCN Press Release] [IISD ENB Coverage of CBD COP 14][IISD RS coverage of side event on Protected Planet]