Reversing biodiversity loss, halting climate change and even preventing the emergence of new pandemics may seem like isolated objectives, but they are not. A group of scientists set out to create an interactive digital map to show which land areas are essential to meet these challenges and save life on Earth. Their findings, titled “A ‘Global Safety Net’ to reverse biodiversity loss and stabilize the Earth’s climate” and recently published in the journal Science Advances, concluded that there is an urgent need to preserve 50.4% of the Earth’s surface. Some 15.1% is already under protection, but this leaves 35.3% still lacking. The research team, consisting of scientific research institute RESOLVE, the organization One Earth and several U.S. universities, created a map highlighting currently protected areas and those in need of conservation: five “realms” with rare species, areas of high biodiversity, large mammal assemblages, intact wilderness areas, and climate stabilization areas. And for the 35.3% of land that needs protection, the researchers also included a network of climate and wildlife corridors to connect the different habitats. This is important given that, according to the study, land loss and infrastructure development are pressures that could lead to the disappearance of any remaining connectivity within a decade. Currently, only half of the protected areas are connected. Eric Dinerstein, one of the study’s authors and director of RESOLVE’s Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions program, says the digital map, which can be analyzed by country or by 846 defined eco-regions, weaves together protected and unprotected areas…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer