Nations “failing to save earth’s wildlife”
11 November, 2014

The world can dramatically improve the rate at which it rescues imperilled species if it starts choosing the land set aside as protected areas more wisely, international scientists say.

 New research shows that by choosing the least valuable lands as protected , the world is doing a poor job of protecting its threatened birds, mammals and amphibians. The study also reveals that with a little compromise, nations can save five times more wildlife at 1.5 times the cost of the cheapest protected area options.

“One of the planet’s greatest extinction crises is happening right now,” says lead author Dr Oscar Venter of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and The University of Queensland (UQ) who is presenting the study at the World Parks Congress this week.

“To stop the continuing decline in biodiversity, 193 countries have committed to meet the Aichi Biodiversity Targets – an international strategy aimed to reduce threats to biodiversity, and to protect the ecosystems, species and genetic diversity.”

Dr Venter explains that the major Aichi Targets include expanding the world’s terrestrial  from 13 to 17 per cent by 2020, and stopping the loss of all known .

And as the world undergoes the biggest expansion of protected areas in history, it needs to seize the opportunity to protect its imperilled wildlife within these protected areas, instead of focusing only on meeting targets based on area, he says.

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