The UNFCC has met many times from Kyoto to Copenhagen to Paris where 190 countries signed an agreement to control greenhouse gas emissions and strive to limit climate change to 2° C.
The CBD has met as well, and in Aichi, Japan, agreed on world conservation targets - 17% of land and 5% of ocean.
It's time for an agreement like the Paris Accord that addresses the extinction crisis - a global deal for nature.
The Global Deal for Nature would be an international agreement to protect nature and the diversity of life on our planet.
A great extinction crisis is impacting every part of the earth, and only significant large-scale action can mitigate or reverse the loss of wildlife, marine life, and ecosystem services vital to the survival of humanity. Scientists agree that we can enable global ecosystem recovery by designating half of Earth’s land and seas as connected networks of protected areas. This would promote the recovery of Earth’s biodiversity and the preservation of indigenous communities, who are stewards of much of the world’s natural heritage. At the same time, we can ensure that the other 50% set aside for development is managed in a way that can support the livelihoods of all people.
The Paris Climate accord and a Deal for Nature are interdependent. Together they are more likely to halt the acidification of the world’s oceans and the decline of coral reefs, thereby protecting essential fisheries that feed a large part of humanity. Preventing the drying up of the central Amazon rainforest would lead to saving millions of species, and would avoid changes in weather patterns and precipitation, both in South America and far from the tropics where the world’s cereal crops are grown. Studies also show that protecting and restoring the species-rich tropical rainforests is the single cheapest action to mitigate global carbon dioxide emissions.
A Global Deal for Nature would better allow humanity to develop a vibrant low-impact economy while leaving precious room for the rest of life on Earth. We must elevate this Deal to become the overarching conservation paradigm for this century. The two deals together foster nature and humanity’s health and a future for all species and future generations.
Eric Dinerstein, Ph.D.
Head of Science, Nature Needs Half