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Mapping the planet's critical natural assets


Chaplin-Kramer, R and Neugarten, RA and Sharp, RP and Collins, PM and Polansky, S and Hole, D and Schuster, R and Strimus-Mackey, M and Mulligan, M and Brandon, C and Diaz, S and Fluet-Chouinard, E and Gorenflo, LJ and Johnson, JA and Kennedy, CM and Keys, PW and Longley-Wood, K and McIntyre, PB and Noon, M and Pascual, U and Liermann, CR and Roehrdanz, PR and Schmidt-Traub, G and Shaw, MR and Spalding, M and Turner, WR and van Soesbergen, A and Watson, RA, Mapping the planet's critical natural assets, Nature Ecology and Evolution, 7 pp. 51-61. ISSN 2397-334X (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2022, The Author(s). Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41559-022-01934-5


Sustaining the organisms, ecosystems and processes that underpin human wellbeing is necessary to achieve sustainable development. Here we define critical natural assets as the natural and semi-natural ecosystems that provide 90% of the total current magnitude of 14 types of nature's contributions to people (NCP), and we map the global locations of these critical natural assets at 2 km resolution. Critical natural assets for maintaining local-scale NCP (12 of the 14 NCP) account for 30% of total global land area and 24% of national territorial waters, while 44% of land area is required to also maintain two global-scale NCP (carbon storage and moisture recycling). These areas overlap substantially with cultural diversity (areas containing 96% of global languages) and biodiversity (covering area requirements for 73% of birds and 66% of mammals). At least 87% of the world's population live in the areas benefitting from critical natural assets for local-scale NCP, while only 16% live on the lands containing these assets. Many of the NCP mapped here are left out of international agreements focused on conserving species or mitigating climate change, yet this analysis shows that explicitly prioritizing critical natural assets and the NCP they provide could simultaneously advance development, climate and conservation goals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:critical resources, fisheries, global sustainability
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Environmentally sustainable animal production
Objective Field:Environmentally sustainable animal production not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Watson, RA (Professor Reginald Watson)
ID Code:154434
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2022-11-30
Last Modified:2023-01-25
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