Protecting global biodiversity is one of the most urgent tasks for the coming decades. Area-based conservation is a pillar for preserving ecosystems and species. Strictly protected areas specifically preserve biodiversity and ecosystem processes. The “EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030” targets strict protection for 10% of land area. Here we performed the first analysis of strictly protected areas (as IUCN type Ia, Ib, and II) across Europe, by investigating their area coverage at the level of biogeographical regions, countries and elevation gradients. We show that, with few exceptions, the amount of strictly protected area is very limited and the spatial distribution of such protected areas is biased towards higher elevation sites, as in the case of other protected areas. Then, we suggest that potential areas should be identified to expand strictly protected areas with low economic and social costs including, for instance, areas with high biodiversity value, low population, and low productive land use. Finally, we propose that a coordinated effort and a strategic plan to achieve continental-scale conservation are fundamental, and at least half of this land under strict conservation (i.e. 5%) should be under the protection categories Ia and Ib.

Analysing the distribution of strictly protected areas toward the EU2030 target

Di Musciano M.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Protecting global biodiversity is one of the most urgent tasks for the coming decades. Area-based conservation is a pillar for preserving ecosystems and species. Strictly protected areas specifically preserve biodiversity and ecosystem processes. The “EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030” targets strict protection for 10% of land area. Here we performed the first analysis of strictly protected areas (as IUCN type Ia, Ib, and II) across Europe, by investigating their area coverage at the level of biogeographical regions, countries and elevation gradients. We show that, with few exceptions, the amount of strictly protected area is very limited and the spatial distribution of such protected areas is biased towards higher elevation sites, as in the case of other protected areas. Then, we suggest that potential areas should be identified to expand strictly protected areas with low economic and social costs including, for instance, areas with high biodiversity value, low population, and low productive land use. Finally, we propose that a coordinated effort and a strategic plan to achieve continental-scale conservation are fundamental, and at least half of this land under strict conservation (i.e. 5%) should be under the protection categories Ia and Ib.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/235242
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