UN Report: Half of world’s richest biodiversity zones remain unprotected

• October 19, 2012
Clownfish in anemone

Clownfish in anemone- Creative Commons: Matt Witmer

Despite the growing number of nature reserves, national parks and other protected areas across the globe, half of the world’s richest biodiversity zones remain entirely unprotected. Protected areas are being managed in a more equitable way, with a greater role for indigenous communities. But current investment in protected areas is only around half of what is needed to support endangered species, protect threatened habitats and deliver the full benefits that sustainably-managed protected areas can deliver.

These are among the main findings of a report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that tracks progress towards internationally-agreed targets on the world’s protected areas.

The report was presented today at the 11th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB COP 11) in Hyderabad, India. The study received the the official backing of countries at COP 11 this week as a major contribution towards tracking progress on global efforts to increase protected areas.

The Protected Planet Report 2012 says that protected areas have increased in number by almost 60 per cent, and in area by just under 50 per cent, since 1990. But the study states that poor management, under-funding and a lack of critical data on protected areas mean that the world is making insufficient progress towards the 2020 goals.

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