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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Parks Stewardship Forum

UC Berkeley

Connectivity conservation: The time is now


The theory and practice of connectivity conservation have matured, and we are now at the point where intentional, landscape-scale ecological networks are poised to play an indispensable role in the drive to protect and conserve at least 30% of the Earth’s lands and waters by 2030. Clearly, achieving the “30x30” goal is an urgent matter as a big step toward what nature needs. The stark conclusions of the latest IPCC report leave no doubt that the 2020s will be a decisive decade for the planet, and there is broad scientific agreement that the biodiversity and climate change emergencies must be met in tandem. For conservationists, this means scaling up both our thinking and our ambitions. While formal protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs; also referred to as “conserved areas”) form the bedrock of conservation, equally important are the connections between and among these areas. The featured theme papers in this issue of Parks Stewardship Forum explain recent advances in connectivity conservation, spelling out what has to happen to hit the 30x30 target, exploring how science and policy are aligning to support the livelihoods of local communities and human rights while contributing to global environmental conservation goals, and providing concrete examples of where and how landscape-scale conservation can be applied to meet the challenges of our time.

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