Limiting the Loss of Nature


Natural ecosystems provide critical services for people as well as biodiversity, including regulating water quality.

With only about half of Earth’s terrestrial surface remaining as natural vegetation, a University of Queensland-led team has proposed an international goal to halt its continued loss.

The team, led by Professor Martine Maron, examined how a global goal of ‘no net loss’ of natural ecosystems could work, where some nations seek net increases in over-depleted natural vegetation, while recognising that for others, limited further losses of ecosystems might be unavoidable.

“Across the globe, our natural habitats are suffering, with alarming impacts on biodiversity, the climate and other critical natural systems – impacts that affect people too,” Professor Maron said.

“To stop the loss, there have been calls for global policy-makers to set targets to protect the nature we have left. It’s a lofty goal, but for it to be achievable, it needs to be equitable. And that means recognising that some nations might need to contribute more to conservation and restoration than others.”

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Image via University of Queensland