The planet should be split 50/50 between humans and wildlife. This startling claim came from biologists with them saying the split is needed to avoid mass extinction along with preservation of the ecosystems.
One-Third of Land and Ocean Should be Protected by 2030
Scientists claim it is essential to preserve the ecosystem of animals and plants so with this in mind the government should protect around one-third of land and ocean by 2030 and another half by 2050. Jonathan Baillie from the National Geographic Society said: “It’s not just about saving wildlife”. He went on to say, “We are learning more and more than the large areas that remain are important for providing services for all life, ” “The forests, for example, are critical for absorbing and storing carbon.”
What is frightening is the fact that only 3.6% of the oceans of the planet along with 14.7% of land are protected under the law according to Newscientist. com. Baillie claims that this small figure is not close enough to what actually should be protected and now wants governments to change the figures to set targets to be met that are much bigger.
The Governments Need to Do Something Fast
He went on to say that governments need to increase their ambitions; otherwise, there may be an extinction crisis. The increase is also needed in order to ensure maintenance of ecosystems. Baillie did say that at the moment the trends are heading in the right direction but much too slow, it needs to be sped up.
Baillie did say that it was difficult to work out how much space would be needed in order to preserve the ecosystem and biodiversity. This is due to the fact that we really do not know a great deal about life on Earth, for example just how many different species of plants and animals there really are. It was suggested that around 25% to 75% of major ecosystems along with regions have to be taken under protection. Of course, erring on caution is essential.
There Will be 10 Billion People on Earth by 2050
The population will reach 10 billion by 2050 it has been estimated and these people all need to eat. But if 50% of the planet was set aside would this be possible? Baillie said, “ That’s why we need an intact planet, ” he says. “If we want to feed the world’s population, we have to be thinking about maintaining the ecological systems that allow us to provide that.”
“There is no doubt we need far more land and sea secured for conserving and retaining nature, ” says James Watson at the University of Queensland in St Lucia, Australia. “Targets like 50 percent are in the right ballpark when it comes to the minimal amount of area needed to conserve biodiversity.”
However it is not just factoring in the number, more important are the actual areas that come under protection according to Jose Montoya from the Station for Theoretical and Experimental Ecology in France. He said, “If we merely protect a proportion of the territory, governments will likely protect what’s easy, and that’s usual areas of low biodiversity and ecosystem service provision.” “We have to do both, ” responds Baillie. “I don’t think they are mutually exclusive.”
Protected Land is Being Exploited
Shockingly around 3.6% of land supposed to be protected is being exploited. The team led by Watson reported this last month. This means more should be done than actually just safeguard the land and ocean.
“These protected areas must be well managed, ” says David Lindenmayer of the Australian National University in Canberra. “The basis for conservation will need to change so that it becomes a key part of economies and livelihoods.”