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Study: In rush to meet treaty targets, new PAs often fail to stop human pressures on biodiversity

As the world races to meet the goal of protecting 17 percent of Earth’s land surface, a new study looks at how effective protected areas are at reducing human pressures — and finds that there is considerable room for improvement.

According to the World Database on Protected Areas, 241,368 protected areas (PAs) have been designated around the world, mostly on land. A little over 20 million square kilometers, or about 15 percent, of Earth’s terrestrial surface is currently protected. It is likely the world will achieve the goal set out in Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2010-2020 to set aside “at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas” by 2020.

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