As part of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (K-M GBF), signatory nations of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) aim to protect at least 30% of the planet by 2030 (Target 3). This bold ambition has been widely celebrated and its implementation seen as pivotal for the overall success of K-M GBF.
In a study published in Integrative Conservation, researchers provide a perspective on Target 3 of the K-M GBF, the area-based conservation target, and in particular, how nations can identify areas for prioritization when considering the area expansion agenda it outlines.
The researchers review key considerations for nations when they set priorities for PCA expansion that address ‘areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services … ecologically representative and well-connected’.
“Given the areal commitments made by nations in the K-M GBF, area-based conservation should remain the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation efforts long into the 21st century,” said the researchers.
The researchers suggested that the protected areas that make up the 30% of the planet must be planned in ways that capture the needs of biodiversity, and best contribute to the broader 2050 Goals and Vision of the CBD, so as to ensure their effectiveness at abating the catastrophic biodiversity loss.
When identifying priorities for protected areas establishment, distinct biodiversity elements set against the core components of T3 of the K-M GBF should be considered. The quality areas should be of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services are effectively conserved and managed through ecologically representative, well-connected and equitably governed systems.
When planning, nations are suggested to follow the six principles may help resolve potential prioritization issues. Firstly, make ‘areas of particular importance for biodiversity’ the primary focus of PCA establishment; then transparently deal with representation; plan for ecological connectivity. Nations should be clear around the reasons for conserving ecosystem services; utilise spatial planning principles and tools; and finally ensure planning is equitable and inclusive.