Achievement of 17% target for protected and conserved areas now reflected in official data

The Protected Planet Report established in 2021 that Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 was partially achieved. This target had multiple components. One specified that 17% of the world’s land and inland waters should be within protected and conserved areas by 2020. The most tangible success of the target was that this component was achieved by the time the Protected Planet Report was published, accounting for known delays between protected areas being designated and appearing in the Protected Planet databases. Today, this achievement is fully reflected in the data, with the March 2023 release of the Protected Planet databases showing 17.08% terrestrial coverage.

This final confirmation that Target 11’s terrestrial coverage ambitions were met comes just after the adoption of a new target for protected and conserved areas. In December 2022, Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Under Target 3 of the Framework, Parties will establish a network of protected and conserved areas covering 30% of the world’s land and oceans by 2030. This is a significant step up from the 17% terrestrial and 10% marine goals of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, but it is arguably less important than the target’s other components, which relate to the quality and performance of protected and conserved areas. Target 3 sets out that this 30% coverage should include places important for biodiversity and ecosystem services. Furthermore, it states that protected and conserved areas should be well-connected and ecologically representative. Beyond being in the right places, the target says that protected and conserved areas should be equitably governed, effectively conserved, and established with respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.

While Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 included several of these components, an outsized focus on percentage coverage meant that none were fully implemented. As Parties turn their attention to achieving Target 3 by 2030, there is a clear sense that the lessons of the previous target must be learned. A global effort is now underway to ensure that efforts towards achieving Target 3 include progressing on both the quantity and quality of protection, fulfilling the potential for this target to be a major step towards living in harmony with nature.

About Protected Planet

Protected Planet provides the official indicators of global progress towards Target 3, derived from data provided by Parties to the CBD and other partners. See the Protected Planet homepage for the latest statistics.

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Protected Planet Report 2020

Tracking progress towards global targets for protected and conserved areas

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