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The minimum land area requiring conservation attention to safeguard biodiversity


Allan, JR and Possingham, HP and Atkinson, SC and Waldron, A and Di Marco, M and Butchart, SHM and Adams, VM and Kissling, WD and Worsdell, T and Sandbrook, C and Gibbon, G and Kumar, K and Mehta, P and Maron, M and Williams, BA and Jones, KR and Wintle, BA and Reside, E and Watson, JEM, The minimum land area requiring conservation attention to safeguard biodiversity, Science, 376, (6597) pp. 1094-1101. ISSN 0036-8075 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1126/science.abl9127


Ambitious conservation efforts are needed to stop the global biodiversity crisis. In this study, we estimate the minimum land area to secure important biodiversity areas, ecologically intact areas, and optimal locations for representation of species ranges and ecoregions. We discover that at least 64 million square kilometers (44% of terrestrial area) would require conservation attention (ranging from protected areas to land-use policies) to meet this goal. More than 1.8 billion people live on these lands, so responses that promote autonomy, self-determination, equity, and sustainable management for safeguarding biodiversity are essential. Spatially explicit land-use scenarios suggest that 1.3 million square kilometers of this land is at risk of being converted for intensive human land uses by 2030, which requires immediate attention. However, a sevenfold difference exists between the amount of habitat converted in optimistic and pessimistic land-use scenarios, highlighting an opportunity to avert this crisis. Appropriate targets in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to encourage conservation of the identified land would contribute substantially to safeguarding biodiversity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial biodiversity
UTAS Author:Adams, VM (Associate Professor Vanessa Adams)
ID Code:150388
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2022-06-10
Last Modified:2022-08-01

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