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Global priority areas for ecosystem restoration

Strassburg, BBN, Iribarrem, A, Beyer, HL, Cordeiro, CL, Crouzeilles, R, Jakovac, CC, Braga Junqueira, A, Lacerda, E, Latawiec, AE, Balmford, A, Brooks, TM, Butchart, SHM, Chazdon, RL, Erb, KH, Brancalion, P, Buchanan, G, Cooper, D, Diaz, S, Donald, PF, Kapos, V, Leclere, D, Miles, L, Obersteiner, M, Plutzar, C, Scaramuzza, CAdeM, Scarano, FR and Visconti, P 2020 , 'Global priority areas for ecosystem restoration' , Nature, vol. 586, no. 7831 , pp. 724-729 , doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2784-9.

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Extensive ecosystem restoration is increasingly seen as being central to conserving biodiversity and stabilizing the climate of the Earth. Although ambitious national and global targets have been set, global priority areas that account for spatial variation in benefits and costs have yet to be identified. Here we develop and apply a multicriteria optimization approach that identifies priority areas for restoration across all terrestrial biomes, and estimates their benefits and costs. We find that restoring 15% of converted lands in priority areas could avoid 60% of expected extinctions while sequestering 299 gigatonnes of CO2—30% of the total CO2 increase in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. The inclusion of several biomes is key to achieving multiple benefits. Cost effectiveness can increase up to 13-fold when spatial allocation is optimized using our multicriteria approach, which highlights the importance of spatial planning. Our results confirm the vast potential contributions of restoration to addressing global challenges, while underscoring the necessity of pursuing these goals synergistically.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Strassburg, BBN and Iribarrem, A and Beyer, HL and Cordeiro, CL and Crouzeilles, R and Jakovac, CC and Braga Junqueira, A and Lacerda, E and Latawiec, AE and Balmford, A and Brooks, TM and Butchart, SHM and Chazdon, RL and Erb, KH and Brancalion, P and Buchanan, G and Cooper, D and Diaz, S and Donald, PF and Kapos, V and Leclere, D and Miles, L and Obersteiner, M and Plutzar, C and Scaramuzza, CAdeM and Scarano, FR and Visconti, P
Keywords: ecosystem restoration, biodiversity, climate, CO2
Journal or Publication Title: Nature
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0028-0836
DOI / ID Number: 10.1038/s41586-020-2784-9
Copyright Information:

Copyright © 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited

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