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Systematic Conservation Planning for Aichi Conservation Targets

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For all signatories, the principal tools for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity are country National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) that, since 2010, have the task of achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. These twenty Aichi targets spread across five strategic goals focused on addressing causes of biodiversity loss, sustainable use, safeguarding biodiversity through protective measures, enhancing biodiversity benefits for all, and enhancing participatory decision-making and implementation. Parties aim to achieve these goals collectively by 2020.

Several “mid-term” reports have projected that some of the quantitative protection Aichi Targets will be achieved by 2020, for instance, 17 per cent of the terrestrial and inland water areas, while others will not, for instance 10 per cent of coastal areas. Moreover, unless active goal-oriented measures are taken, even if the quantitative targets are met, it will still be a challenge to ensure that the resulting sets of prioritized areas are ecologically representative. This problem can be most effectively solved using the techniques of systematic conservation planning (SCP). These techniques have been developed and iteratively improved over the last twenty-five years but unfortunately, are not being used in most NBSAPs. This article describes some of the basic principles of Systematic Conservation Planning to show how they are central to a third of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and how they enhance participatory planning which is central to Aichi Target five (5) - rate of loss of all natural habitats, including forests, is at least halved and where feasible brought close to zero, and degradation and fragmentation is significantly reduced. The Article also briefly describes the potential use of Systematic Conservation Planning in Mexico for various taxa and regions.

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