Ongoing global biodiversity loss unstoppable with protected areas alone: Study

United Nations University – Institute for Water, Environment and Health, Hamilton, Canada

28 Jul 11

Continued reliance on a strategy of setting aside land and marine territories as “protected areas” is insufficient to stem global biodiversity loss, according to a comprehensive assessment published today in the journalĀ Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Despite impressively rapid growth of protected land and marine areas worldwide – today totalling over 100,000 in number and covering 17 million square kilometers of land and 2 million square kilometers of oceans – biodiversity is in steep decline.

Expected scenarios of human population growth and consumption levels indicate that cumulative human demands will impose an unsustainable toll on the Earth’s ecological resources and services accelerating the rate at which biodiversity is being loss.

Current and future human requirements will also exacerbate the challenge of effectively implementing protected areas while suggesting that effective biodiversity conservation requires new approaches that address underlying causes of biodiversity loss – including the growth of both human population and resource consumption.

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