190 Countries Agree to Preserve 30% of the Earth’s Land and Water

With the Earth rapidly hurtling towards a climate change tipping point, time is short to implement changes that can offset some of the damage already caused and prevent further destruction from occurring. Most institutions that are working against this have failed numerous times, but in spite of the fact that this is the case a recent UN summit may have struck a deal that will add precious decades to the Earth’s lifespan and give us time to change things for the better.

The UN’s Biodiversity Conference which was hosted in Montreal saw 190 countries signing an agreement to adhere to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that a major aspect of this framework involves protecting and preserving at least 30% of the Earth’s surface. The policies required to adhere to this framework will have to be implemented before 2030, and they can do a lot to help the fight against climate change.

Establishing these protected areas can make climate change occur more slowly than might have been the case otherwise. However, cordoning off vast terrain for conservation purposes doesn’t have the most heartening of histories. Frequently such measures are used to violate the rights of indigenous inhabitants of the land. That is especially egregious considering that these are likely some of the least responsible people for climate change due to their low carbon emitting lifestyles.

Many human rights activists are criticizing this as a shameless land grab. It is certainly true that there are other areas that also deserve focus such as decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels and the emissions that they can cause. It is still being celebrated by conservation groups who are happy about the biodiversity that these measures will protect.

However, it must be noted that this is just one small step in the right direction. Many more will have to be taken to keep climate catastrophes at bay, and this alone will not be enough to protect the vulnerable people of the world from impending disasters.

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