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October 27, 2022

The 2020 global spatial targets for protected areas set by the Convention on Biological Diversity have almost been achieved, but management effectiveness remains deficient. Personnel shortages are widely cited as major contributing factors but have not previously been quantified. 

Defining ‘science-based targets’

Setting targets for addressing major planetary concerns is an essential prerequisite for concerted global action (both inside and outside multilateral environmental agreements) and is necessarily a societal and political process, requiring negotiation and convergence among oftenconflicting interests. There is no such thing as a ‘scientific target’ applied in policy or business—operational targets are socio-political choices. However, this is not to say that targets cannot be ‘science-based’.