> Target 4: Protected Areas - Ecosystems
Target 4: Protected Areas - Ecosystems
At Least 10 Per Cent of Each of the World’s Ecological Regions Effectively Conserved
About 10% of the land surface is currently covered by protected areas. In general, forests and mountain areas are well represented in protected areas, while natural grasslands (such as prairies) and coastal and estuarine ecosystems, including mangroves, are poorly represented.
The target would imply:
(i) increasing the representation of different ecological regions in protected areas, and
(ii) increasing the effectiveness of protected areas.
Since some ecological regions will include protected areas covering more than 10% of their area, the qualifier “at least” is used. In some cases, ecosystems restoration and rehabilitation may be necessary.
Effective conservation is understood to mean that the area is managed to achieve a favourable conservation status for plant species and communities. Various approaches are available for use in the identification of ecological regions, based on major vegetation types.
Further targets may be agreed in the future.
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Conservation International believes that Earth's natural heritage must be maintained if future generations are to thrive. They aim to conserve the Earth's living heritage, our global biodiversity, and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature.
WWF defines an ecoregion as a "large unit of land or water containing a geographically distinct assemblage of species, natural communities, and environmental conditions". The Global ecoregions recognize places like deserts and mountains that can lose out to higher profile places like rainforests.
The Convention to Combat Desertification
The international community has long recognized that desertification is a major economic, social and environmental problem of concern to many countries in all regions of the world. This treaty acknowledges that the struggle to protect drylands will be a long one - there will be no quick fix.
The Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar)
The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
The United Nations realises how important natural resources and the environment are for human kind, so UNEP encourages all nations and peoples to care for the environment, to they may improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Biodiversity and biodiversity information are essential to a sustainable future for society. GBIF is making recorded knowledge about biodiversity available to everyone using the Internet. Anyone with records of biodiversity can send data into GBIF to help build an online image of life on earth.
European Environment Agency
The EEA aims to support sustainable development and to help achieve significant and measurable improvement in Europe's environment through the provision of timely, targeted, relevant and reliable information to policy making agents and the public.
Earthwatch Institute is an environmental charity which funds 130 field research projects in over 50 countries, recruiting people globally to work alongside conservation scientists on projects from saving leatherback sea turtles in Costa Rica, to monitoring climate change in the Arctic.
The National Trust
The National Trust protects over 300 historic houses and gardens and 49 industrial monuments and mills in the UK. They also look after forests, woods, fens, beaches, farmland, downs, moorland, islands, archaeological remains, castles, nature reserves, villages - for ever, for everyone.