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Parks Stewardship Forum

UC Berkeley

Ecological networks and corridors in the context of global initiatives

  • Author(s): Hilty, Jodi A.
  • Laur, Aaron T.
  • et al.
Abstract

Ecological connectivity is defined by the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species to be “[t]he unimpeded movement of species and the flow of natural processes that sustain life on Earth.” To conserve these vital links within and across ecosystems and political boundaries, scientists, policymakers, and practitioners around the world are increasing and combining their efforts to provide consistent and focused solutions. The most recent Protected Planet Report reveals that 7.84% of terrestrial protected areas are connected to each other. This remains far short of the stated target of connecting the over 17% of the planet that is now officially protected in one way or another. Much more effort is also required to maintain, enhance, and restore ecological connectivity across the matrix of human uses outside of such areas. The importance of conserving ecological connectivity to protect biodiversity, increase resilience to climate change, and provide the host of other benefits that humans receive from nature is clear and actionable as science and policy align to support the livelihoods of local communities while contributing to global environmental conservation goals.

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