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Environment The World31. May 2024

Latest Study: Global Conservation Slows – and Reverses – Biodiversity Loss

A new study shows that a century of conservation action and the adoption of new global targets has led to the curbing and even the reversal of biodiversity loss worldwide.

“I am an inveterate optimist, so I find the results of this study incredibly encouraging,” states study co-author Associate Professor Joseph Bull from the University of Oxford’s Department of Biology. “I hope this study will not only shed light on where and how conservation can work but also give renewed hope to those working in the field.”

This meta-analysis looked into 186 studies and 665 trials concerning the impact of a wide range of conservation interventions across the globe over time and compared their findings with what would have happened without those interventions. Conservation actions such as establishing and managing protected areas, the eradication and control of invasive species, the sustainable management of ecosystems, habitat loss reduction, and restoration improved the state of diversity – or slowed its decline – 66% of the time compared with no action taken. Over a century of conservation efforts and actions have targeted different levels of biodiversity, including species, ecosystems, and genetic diversity. More than 44,000 species are at risk of extinction, with dire consequences for the ecosystems that stabilize the climate and provide billions worldwide clean water, livelihoods, homes, and cultural preservation. Therefore, conservation efforts must continue to be improved, developed, and deployed.

University of Oxford

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