Nature Preservation is the process of protecting wild plants, animals and natural places. It includes preserving their ecological function, cultural significance and aesthetic value, and ensuring that they remain safe from human development and exploitation.
Nature is essential to people’s well-being, providing food, water, protection from threats and a wealth of mental and physical benefits. However, these services are under threat from humans and need protection.
Our goal is to achieve a global network of protected areas and other natural habitats that are functionally intact, large and connected (GDN) by 2050. This is critical for climate change resilience, biodiversity conservation and the delivery of other human benefits (5).
Protected areas must be well-connected, and their coverage must be increased to adequately represent biodiversity (1). Unfortunately, current global targets set by the Convention on Biological Diversity – known as “Aichi Target 11” – are not science-based and are widely viewed as inadequate to avoid extinctions and slow biodiversity loss (9).
While we strive for the best possible outcomes for wildlife, we must also support communities in developing countries by creating employment opportunities that promote the use of local resources and help them become more resilient to environmental challenges (8). For example, wildlife conservation can provide income through tourism by creating ecolodges or national parks and allowing for activities such as hiking, trekking and bird watching.
A new deal for nature must also include cities, whose residents rely on natural landscapes for clean water, fresh air and other benefits. Urban green space is an essential part of a healthy ecosystem, and should be prioritized in conservation and restoration efforts.
The emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) has enabled new approaches to image processing, including reconstructed environment models, image stitching and 3D reconstruction, as well as object detection. These techniques can be applied to conservation applications such as habitat mapping, wildlife identification and monitoring.
We believe that a strong and vibrant conservation community is central to solving today’s environmental challenges, and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this field. To better support our partners, we’ve developed a suite of tools and resources that help them succeed.
We have created a set of open standards, called the Conservation Standards, which bring together common concepts, approaches and terminology for conservation project design and implementation. The Standards have been developed by a wide range of experts from around the world and are regularly updated to reflect emerging practices, developments in science, and community input. We are committed to working with all conservation practitioners and organizations to develop and maintain the Standards, so they can be used effectively at all scales. The Conservation Standards are available in a number of languages and can be found on our website. They can also be accessed by visiting the Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG). If you are interested in helping to develop or update our conservation standards, please contact your State office. We would love to hear from you!