Global Urgency for Biodiversity: Why, Who, and Where?

New treaty applies Half-Earth science to track country progress

The movement to protect biodiversity is gaining momentum. At the 2022 UN Biodiversity Conference, the global community emphasized why biodiversity is important: for our health and wellbeing, food supply and safety. Country leaders acknowledged who is responsible: Every nation and sector must work together for nothing less than planetary survival. To conclude the event and mark their commitments, 188 countries ratified the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). This agreement will shape how we protect the species that share our planet.
“Nations have made a historic decision to protect the web of life upon which we all depend,” said Paula Ehrlich, President and CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. E. O. Wilson’s research on island biogeography and his subsequent book, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life, inspired the 30×30 target included in the GBF: 30% of lands and waters protected by 2030. “The agreement unites us in common cause to save nature, and with it, ourselves.”
The Half-Earth Project Map is a pivotal tool that tells us where place-based conservation can have the greatest impact. Research funded by the Half-Earth Project informs the map’s biodiversity indicators on species protection and habitat, and the GBF also incorporates these as measures toward progress. The key metric, called an Essential Biodiversity Variable, for progress toward 30×30 is the Species Protection Index (SPI), which gauges how well existing protections cover species’ habitats and where new protected areas have the greatest potential to conserve biodiversity.
The Half-Earth Project map contextualizes these data to reveal patterns and trends that inspire and inform place-based conservation, a powerful nature-based solution.

“There are many wins for Nature here, informed by the best available science. Now we have a better opportunity to implement the framework with funding commitments, a declaration of respect for the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and agreement that the areas we protect are ecologically representative. We’re not just protecting land, freshwater, the ocean – we’re moving to protect species.”

Half-Earth Project Map Methodology

Learn more about the methodology behind the Half-Earth Project Map.



Target: Ensure that by 2030 at least 30 percent of areas of degraded terrestrial, water, coastal and marine ecosystems are under effective restoration. –Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

The Kunming-Montreal Framework aims to protect and nurture 30% of lands and waters by 2030. Half-Earth is our long-term vision of a world where nature and humanity thrive together.

What's Next

What's Next

New features on the Half-Earth Project Map include species resolution to 1km scale; a carbon layer that aligns habitat and climate protection; Spanish and Portuguese translations; and policymaker tools.
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