Environment & Biodiversity

Place-Based Conservation Under CBD

Member countries adopted the “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework” (GBF) at the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which includes four goals and 23 targets to be met by 2030.

Target 30×30 among 23 targets

  • Conservation through an ecological representative: Among the 23 targets, Target 3, colloquially known as “30×30,” requires that “at least 30 percent of terrestrial, inland water, and coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, are effectively conserved and managed through ecologically representative.
  • Protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures should be well-connected and equitably governed systems in this area.

Assessment of protected areas

  • Protected area: Traditionally, place-based conservation has taken the form of Protected Areas, where human occupation or, at the very least, resource exploitation is restricted. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) definition of protected areas in its categorization guidelines has been widely accepted across regional and global frameworks.
  • Different levels of protection: The level of protection of protected areas varies depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international organizations involved.
  • Only 17% of the population is currently protected: Currently, approximately 17% of terrestrial and 8% of marine areas are protected and conserved areas.
  • Quality that is less than desirable: The quality of these areas has fallen far short of the commitments; less than 8% of the land is protected and connected. Faced with such a void, the 3030 target represents a significant commitment.

Challenges towards conservation of biodiversity areas

  • Improving the quality: Improving the quality of both existing and new areas will be a major challenge, as biodiversity continues to decline, even within many Protected Areas. Protected and conserved areas will need to be better connected in order for species to move and ecological processes to function.
  • Large countries must take significant steps: Large, densely populated countries, as well as very densely populated small and city-states, are unlikely to be able to bring significant additional terrestrial, inland water, coastal, and marine areas under Protected Area management.
  • Addressing animal and human settlement: Furthermore, species range shifts caused by the effects of climate change must be considered. Protected Areas that are experiencing coastal squeeze due to rising sea level on one side and hard human settlements on the other will face additional challenges.
  • Management investment: All of these measures will necessitate significant investments in effective management and community involvement, particularly in areas with megafauna. So far, the Global North’s track record of meeting financial commitments for climate and biodiversity initiatives has been dismal.

Way forward

  • Improved connectivity: Innovative area-based conservation measures must be considered for improved connectivity of species megafauna, particularly between protected and conserved areas. adjoining and/or connecting areas Protected Agricultural lands will have to be protected because they are not formally managed for conservation.
  • Conservation development mechanism: A carbon offset scheme similar to the UNFCCC’s Clean Development Mechanism that allows countries to fund greenhouse gas emission-reducing projects in other countries and claim the saved emissions as part of their own efforts to meet international emissions targets.
  • Protected areas on the move: Innovative management will be required for Protected Areas that are being squeezed along the coast by rising sea levels on one side and dense human settlements on the other. Protected Areas will have to be conceived of as mobile rather than static, confined to a set of geographical coordinates, in high altitude and coastal areas. Alpine and mangrove ecosystems

@the end

Declaring a specific area as a protected area will not improve the quality of the protected area and is merely lip service to conservation efforts. The path forward should be investment backed by an effective, result-oriented, and time-bound action plan for place-based conservation.

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