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Thursday, April 20 • 13:00 - 14:00
Safeguarding space for nature, securing our future: half-earth, whole-earth or a different earth?

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With the signing of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate in 2015, the world’s governments have made strong commitments to conserve biodiversity, develop sustainably and address climate change.  The next few years will be critical for putting in place a new global post-2020 strategy to replace the current Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 to ensure these goals are achieved.  Currently, governments have pledged to protect 17% of the world’s land and 10% of its ocean by 2020. But are conventional protected areas working, is this enough, and, if not, what space do we need to conserve and how in order to sustain both humans and the rest of life on earth?

The first-ever global public opinion survey on space for nature, targeting 7 countries across all inhabited continents, suggested that people feel around 50% of the world’s land and ocean should be protected (see), and recent scientific research and expert opinion suggests something in the region of 25-75% - both far higher than the current targets.  At the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress, many delegates argued for protected area coverage of "around 30% of the planet for no take reserves, 50% overall protection, and 100% of the land and water managed sustainably".  To address this, in 2016 IUCN Members passed Resolution WCC-2016-Res-096-EN, on ‘Safeguarding space for nature and securing our future: developing a post-2020 strategy’, which, “Invites the Parties to the CBD and other stakeholders to initiate a process towards the development of an ambitious post-2020 strategy, including concrete targets to safeguard space for nature…”.

There have been increasingly loud calls for ‘Half-Earth’, or that ‘Nature Needs Half’, with a focus on protection, with an Avaaz petition for world leaders to protect half the planet now signed by nearly 1 million people.  These calls have recently been countered by advocates for a ‘Whole Earth’ approach, with a focus more on sustainable use.  These different options will be considered in a major new public symposium on space for nature being held at ZSL in spring 2018, to help deliver the above IUCN Resolution.  This #ConservationOptimism session will review and encourage discussion on the various options, ask participants to vote for their preferred one, and invite feedback and involvement in our 2018 symposium!

See www.zsl.org/spacefornature for more information on the public opinion survey and to watch our film on space for nature.  This topic will be covered on both Thursday 20 April and at ZSL on Saturday 22 April, so hope to see you on both days!

avatar for Noelle Kumpel

Noelle Kumpel

Conservation Policy Programme Manager, Zoological Society of London
Noelle has 18 years’ experience in conservation, research, project management and policy, including 5 years’ in the field in Africa and Asia, specialising in tropical forest conservation, in particular wildlife hunting/trade, protected areas, business and biodiversity, monitoring... Read More →

Thursday April 20, 2017 13:00 - 14:00 BST
Lower Hall Barry Building, Ground Floor