Since 2010, over 8.1 million square miles have been added to the world’s network of national parks and conservation areas. That means about 17% of land and inland water habitats and 8% of marine areas are now within formal protected areas being conserved and managed, increasing by 42% in the last decade.
Protected and conserved areas have proliferated since 10th Biodiversity Conference in Japan in 2010, with new protected areas being added every month as national governments and other stakeholders expand their efforts.
The greatest growth in protected areas over the 10-year period has been in marine and coastal areas, where 68% of the current network’s area is less than ten years old.
“The international community has made major progress towards the global target”, says the new report from the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), produced with support from the National Geographic Society.
“The latest edition of the biennial Protected Planet Report is the final report card on Aichi Target 11”, says the executive summary. “It is clear that coverage on land will considerably exceed the 17% target when data for all areas are made available, as many protected and conserved areas remain unreported.”