IUCN Congress Called for Protecting 30 Percent of Earth and 80 Percent of Amazon
With the rapidly changing climate, it has become absolutely necessary to protect biodiversity by all means. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress has called for protecting 30 percent of the earth – land and sea – and 80 percent of the Amazon Rainforest.
The world’s most influential conservation congress has urged the global community to designate the aforementioned proportions as “protected areas” to stop and reverse the loss of wildlife.
The IUCN Congress, which took place on September 8, 2021, in Marseille, France, does not set any global policy, but its suggestions have served as the backbone for UN treaties and conventions in the past. Evidently, the current recommendations will help set the agenda for upcoming UN summits on food systems, biodiversity and climate crisis.
The Coordinator of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon River Basin (COICA), an umbrella group representing over two million indigenous people across nine South American countries, presented an emergency motion calling for four-fifths of the Amazon basin to be labeled a protected area by 2025.
Over the last two decades, the Amazon has lost nearly 10,000 square kilometers every year to deforestation, mostly due to wildfires, commercial agricultural clearings and cattle grazing. Combined with climate change, this destruction could push the planet’s largest tropical forest past a “tipping point” and turn into a savannah-like landscape.
Moreover, IUCN members said that 30 percent of the planet’s land and ocean area must have protected status within a decade. The areas selected should be ‘biodiversity hotspots’ teaming with wildlife and must be protected through rigorous monitoring and enforcement.
Given the mass extinction event the planet is barreling toward, the IUCN’s 1,400 members overwhelmingly approved a resolution recommending a delay on deep-sea mining and reform of the International Seabed Authority (ISA).
The proposition passed with over 80 percent of votes from government agencies and 90 percent support from NGOs and civil society groups.