Modification of forests by people means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity

Grantham, H.S., Duncan, A., Evans, T., Jones, K.R., Beyer, H.L., Schuster, R., Walston, J., Ray, J.C., Robinson, J.G., Callow, M., Clement, T., Costa, H.M., DeGemmis, A., Elsen, P.R., Ervin, J., Franco, P., Goldman, E., Goetz, S., Hansen, A., Hofsvang, E., Jantz, P., Jupiter, S., Kang, A., Langhammer, P., Laurance, W.F., Lieberman, S., Linkie, M., Malhi, Y., Maxwell, S., Mendez, M., Mittermeier, R., Murray, N.J., Possingham, H., Radachowsky, J., Saatchi, S., Samper, C., Silverman, J., Shapiro, A., Strassburg, B., Stevens, T., Stokes, E., Taylor, R., Tear, T., Tizard, R., Venter, O., and Visconti, P. (2020) Modification of forests by people means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity. Nature Communications, 11. 5978.

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Abstract

Many global environmental agendas, including halting biodiversity loss, reversing land degradation, and limiting climate change, depend upon retaining forests with high ecological integrity, yet the scale and degree of forest modification remain poorly quantified and mapped. By integrating data on observed and inferred human pressures and an index of lost connectivity, we generate a globally consistent, continuous index of forest condition as determined by the degree of anthropogenic modification. Globally, only 17.4 million km2 of forest (40.5%) has high landscape-level integrity (mostly found in Canada, Russia, the Amazon, Central Africa, and New Guinea) and only 27% of this area is found in nationally designated protected areas. Of the forest inside protected areas, only 56% has high landscape-level integrity. Ambitious policies that prioritize the retention of forest integrity, especially in the most intact areas, are now urgently needed alongside current efforts aimed at halting deforestation and restoring the integrity of forests globally.

Item ID: 65309
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Copyright Information: Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. © The Author(s) 2020
Funders: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Trillion Trees, UKaid, Climate Programme
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 01:57
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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