This story is part of our special issue on Earth Day. Read the rest of our stories here.
Today just 15 percent of land and 7 percent of the ocean is protected; new research is providing a blueprint of the most important areas to conserve next. The strategic placement of newly protected areas could help conserve the world’s biodiversity and safeguard carbon stocks. Preservation of these hot spots—some discovered only recently— could help save millions of species and mitigate climate change.
Sources: The Nature Map Initiative; Martin Jung and Piero Visconti, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis; Xavier de Lamo, Oliver Tallowin, and Jennifer Mark, UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre; Enric Sala and Juan Mayorga, Pristine Seas, National Geographic Society; Trisha Atwood, Utah State University; Reniel Cabral, University of California, Santa Barbara.
This content is supported by the Wyss Campaign for Nature, which is working with the National Geographic Society and others across the globe to help protect at least 30 percent of our planet by 2030. Copyright © 2020 National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C.