30x30 biodiversity gains rely on national coordination

What is 30x30?

Eckert et al., 2023.pdf

Canada, along with over 190 other nations, have committed to Target 3 in the new global biodiversity framework (protecting 30% of terrestrial land by 2030), giving humanity a chance to curb biodiversity loss and preserve eroding ecosystem services. 30x30 provides a valuable opportunity to "bend the curve of biodiversity loss" by protecting land important to biodiversity. But how Nation's will choose to prioritize land for protection remains unclear... 

How have we prioritized land in the past?

Banff National Park, 2021

How can we prioritize biodiversity today?

Bighorn Sheep in Kootenay National Park, 2021

What did we do?

To answer this question we build over 20K species distribution models from publicly available biodiversity data  to try and estimate the current distribution of biodiversity in Canada. We then conducted various spatial planning scenarios where we varied either what element of biodiversity is being prioritized or the spatial scale at which the prioritization is conducted to investigate how these decisions impact spatial priorities and biodiversity outcomes. Because Canada is experiencing rapid climate change, we used projected future species distributions to prioritize land that serves species both today and into the future (Fig. 1).

Figure 1 — Workflow of methods including building SDMs, accounting for uncertainty in future projections, designing prioritization scenarios, and evaluating biodiversity outcomes.

What did we find?

Figure 2 — Efficiently protecting biodiversity relies on national coordination. A) Spatial priorities across different scales of coordination. Cells are coloured by priority rank and corresponding biodiversity gains are visualized in pie charts. B) Biodiversity trade-offs associated with different scales of coordination across all measures of biodiversity. C-D) The uneven challenge of achieving the baseline National scenario captured by the portion of prioritized land across Provinces, Territories, and Ecozones.