You cannot put a price tag on nature — but the economic numbers point to its protection,” said Anthony Waldron, the lead author of the report and researcher focused on conservation finance, global species loss and sustainable agriculture.
The report’s authors find that obtaining the substantial benefits of protecting 30% of the planet’s land and ocean, requires an average annual investment of roughly $140 billion by 2030. The world currently invests just over $24 billion per year in protected areas.
“This investment pales in comparison to the economic benefits that additional protected areas would deliver and to the far larger financial support currently given to other sectors,” said Enric Sala, co-author of this report, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and the author of the forthcoming book The Nature of Nature: Why We Need the Wild (August 2020).
“Investing to protect nature would represent less than one-third of the amount that governments spend on subsidies to activities that destroy nature. It would represent 0.16% of global GDP and require less investment than the world spends on video games every year.”
The Campaign for Nature (CFN), which commissioned this report, is working with a growing coalition of over 100 conservation organizations, and scientists around the world in support of the 30%+ target, and increased financial support for conservation. CFN is also working with Indigenous leaders to ensure full respect for Indigenous rights and free, prior, and informed consent. CFN recommends that funding comes from all sources, including official development assistance, governments’ domestic budgets, climate financing directed to nature-based solutions, philanthropies, corporations, and new sources of revenue or savings through regulatory and subsidy changes. As 70-90% of the cost would be focused on low and middle income countries because of the location of the world’s most threatened biodiversity, these countries will require financial assistance from multiple sources.
Did you know?
Today only 15 percent of land and 7 percent of our ocean are protected. We’re on track to reach a global goal of protecting 17 percent of the land and 10 percent of the ocean by the end of 2020, but world leaders need to dramatically boost ambition — both on spatial targets and the inclusion of Indigenous peoples — in order to protect the natural world. In order to achieve the transformative change necessary to safeguard our future and that of countless species, we need solutions that make use of the best information. The Campaign for Nature is underpinned by the latest work of leading scientific experts from around the world.
This is just a small sample of the science behind our goal to achieve protection for 30% of the planet by 2030. ( see major publications)
The Science Behind 30%. Why 30 % ?
The Path to Conserving 30 Percent of the Planet by 2030. PERSPECTIVES FROM INDIGENOUS AND LOCAL CONSERVATION LEADERS
The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) have both identified biodiversity loss as one of the main threats to global economic prosperity1,2. In particular, this high-level warning specifies that any further loss of natural habitats and biodiversity will cause extensive and costly flooding, climate change, disease emergence and ill health, clean water shortages, loss of crop pollination, decline in productivity, and numerous other risks1,2. All of these negative outcomes are the consequence of degrading the natural infrastructure that supports human economic activity and wellbeing. One of the main policy instruments to slow the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of nature is the creation of protected or conservation areas (simple examples being a Nature Reserve or Marine Reserve)3–6. Currently, ~16% of the land and 7.4% of the ocean is in areas designated or proposed for protection (although only 2.5% of the ocean is in highly/fully protected areas)7,8. This level of protection is widely acknowledged as being inadequate to achieve biodiversity protection goals7,9–12. One of the headline proposals for the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the CBD, and Action Target 2 of the draft post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework13, is to increase the area covered by protected areas (PAs) and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) to 30% of the planet by 2030, including both land and water protection.
Land purchase costs are difficult to estimate because there is no global database of land prices and indeed, many PAs have been established on land for which purchase is inappropriate e.g. government-owned land or land with communal ownership by an IPLC group. A common proxy for agricultural land price is the net farm income divided by the capitalization rate of agricultural land (where income has to be modelled based on the expected production and costs of not-yet-converted land)105. We calculated this proxy for all the new land in each scenario, noting that this will give an overestimate, since it ignores both yield gaps106,107 and cost savings on government or indigenous lands. Conversely, the capitalization rates, taken from European farms105, are likely to also overestimate costs in non-EU countries. Thus, CAPEX is underestimated but purchase cost is overestimated, partially cancelling out much of their respective errors in the calculation of establishment cost. The cost of a large land purchase for a long-term protected area program would typically be subject to some form of loan or national debt arrangement, rather than coming out of the first year’s budget in a single payment. We therefore annualised the land purchase cost by amortising it over 20 years.
We collated current budget allocations to national protected area networks using a similar protocol to the one used for collating budget needs. We were able to source primary estimates for 124 countries. The data-deficient countries and territories were mostly small offshore island territories, microstates, small island states and lower-income countries, all of which are unlikely to have budgets exceeding a few million dollars. The main exceptions were Venezuela (although its recent PA budget is not likely to be large), Portugal, Japan, Iran, Finland and Switzerland. An additional important consideration was that much of the European Union budget information has not been updated for ten years, during which time the protected area estate (and so presumably the budget) has increased
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The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (UNCCD) is a Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.