15. LIFE ON LAND

Protecting Lands Slows Biodiversity Loss Among Vertebrates by Five Times | Smithsonian Institution

Protecting Lands Slows Biodiversity Loss Among Vertebrates by Five Times | Smithsonian Institution
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Protecting Lands Slows Biodiversity Loss Among Vertebrates by …  Smithsonian Institution

Protecting Lands Slows Biodiversity Loss Among Vertebrates by Five Times | Smithsonian Institution

Protecting Earth’s Land Can Help Stem Biodiversity Loss, Study Finds

Published in Nature on September 27, a new study led by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) and Conservation International highlights the importance of protecting large areas of land to combat biodiversity loss. The study supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their “30 by 30” initiative to conserve biodiversity.

Human activity has accelerated the extinction rate of vertebrates by 22 times, leading to destabilized food webs and the loss of benefits provided by biodiversity, such as crop pollination and disease control.

Research Methodology

The study collected data on over 1,000 species from every continent except Antarctica. The researchers analyzed the populations of 2,239 vertebrates inside and outside protected areas to understand the impact of conservation efforts. To ensure accurate results, the authors carefully selected similar protected and unprotected sites.

The findings revealed that vertebrate populations declined at a rate of 0.4% per year inside protected areas, significantly slower than the 1.8% per year decline outside protected areas.

“Protected areas take us from a situation in which biodiversity is not-so-slowly ebbing away, to one where populations are at least close to stable,” said Luke Frishkoff, coauthor and assistant professor of biology at the University of Texas at Arlington. Without protected areas, populations outside could see a 50% reduction in just 40 years, while it would take 170 years for a population in a protected area to face the same fate.

Amphibians and birds experienced the greatest benefits from protected areas, likely due to the significant threats they face outside these areas. Wetland birds suffer from habitat loss, while amphibians are impacted by habitat loss, climate change, and the chytrid fungus. The smaller home ranges of amphibians make them more vulnerable to environmental changes.

However, nearby land conversion for agriculture or development and climate change diminish the effectiveness of protected areas. Reptiles are particularly vulnerable to climate change even within protected areas, while amphibians suffer more from nearby land conversion. This highlights the need for connected protected areas to address conservation challenges.

Importance of Effective Governance

The study emphasizes the crucial role of effective governance in conservation efforts. Good governance has an equally powerful impact on vertebrates as living in a protected area. Nations with stable and effective governments enforce environmental laws more effectively and are less likely to misuse conservation funds.

Transparency in government can empower local communities and improve conservation outcomes. When communities have a voice in conservation laws, including those related to protected lands, the protections are more successful.

Diverse Approaches to Conservation

While protected areas are essential, conservation scientists recognize the need for a portfolio of approaches to safeguard biodiversity in the face of rapid environmental changes. The study suggests that flexible mechanisms, such as “payment for ecosystem services” programs, can contribute to protecting biodiversity outside protected areas. These programs provide financial incentives to landowners near protected areas to preserve forests on their property.

Other flexible measures include biological corridors and Indigenous-led protected areas that limit human activity without entirely restricting it.

The study validates the importance of the United Nations’ “30 by 30” initiative but highlights the need to ensure that protected areas effectively conserve biodiversity. Mere expansion of protected land is not enough; it is crucial to focus on the quality and governance of these areas.

Contributors to the study include John Carroll University, the University of California, Davis, and the Zoological Society of London.

For more information, please visit the journal’s website.

# # #

SI-270-2023

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 15: Life on Land Target 15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains, and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements. Indicator 15.1.1: Forest area as a proportion of total land area
SDG 15: Life on Land Target 15.5: Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity, and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species. Indicator 15.5.1: Red List Index
SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions Target 16.6: Develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels. Indicator 16.6.1: Primary government expenditures as a proportion of original approved budget, by sector (or by budget codes or similar)

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 15: Life on Land
  • SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

The article discusses the importance of protecting land to stem the tide of biodiversity loss, which aligns with SDG 15. It also emphasizes the need for effective governance and transparent institutions, which relates to SDG 16.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • Target 15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains, and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.
  • Target 15.5: Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity, and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
  • Target 16.6: Develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels.

The article highlights the need to conserve biodiversity and protect threatened species, which aligns with Target 15.5. It also emphasizes the importance of effective governance and transparent institutions, which relates to Target 16.6.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

  • Indicator 15.1.1: Forest area as a proportion of total land area
  • Indicator 15.5.1: Red List Index
  • Indicator 16.6.1: Primary government expenditures as a proportion of original approved budget, by sector (or by budget codes or similar)

The article mentions the importance of forest conservation and restoration (Indicator 15.1.1) and the need to prevent the extinction of threatened species (Indicator 15.5.1). It also highlights the significance of effective and transparent government institutions (Indicator 16.6.1).

4. SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 15: Life on Land Target 15.1: By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains, and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements. Indicator 15.1.1: Forest area as a proportion of total land area
SDG 15: Life on Land Target 15.5: Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity, and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species. Indicator 15.5.1: Red List Index
SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions Target 16.6: Develop effective, accountable, and transparent institutions at all levels. Indicator 16.6.1: Primary government expenditures as a proportion of original approved budget, by sector (or by budget codes or similar)

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: si.edu

 

‘Take Care of Maya’: Emotional letter revealed in alleged child abuse case that drove mother to suicide

Join us, as fellow seekers of change, on a transformative journey at https://sdgtalks.ai/welcome, where you can become a member and actively contribute to shaping a brighter future.

 

About the author

ZJbTFBGJ2T