Restoration priorities to achieve the global protected area target

Bonnie Mappin*, Alienor L.M. Chauvenet, Vanessa M. Adams, Moreno Di Marco, Hawthorne L. Beyer, Oscar Venter, Benjamin S. Halpern, Hugh P. Possingham, James E. M. Watson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


With much of Earth's surface already heavily impacted by humans, there is a need to understand where restoration is required to achieve global conservation goals. Here, we show that at least 1.9 million km 2 of land, spanning 190 (27%) terrestrial ecoregions and 114 countries, needs restoration to achieve the current 17% global protected area target (Aichi Target 11). Restoration targeted on lightly modified land could recover up to two-thirds of the shortfall, which would have an opportunity cost impact on agriculture of at least $205 million per annum (average of $159/km2 ). However, 64 (9%) ecoregions, located predominately in Southeast Asia, will require the challenging task of restoring areas that are already heavily modified. These results highlight the need for global conservation strategies to recognize the current level of anthropogenic degradation across many ecoregions and balance bigger protected area targets with more specific restoration goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12646
Number of pages9
JournalConservation Letters
Issue number4
Early online date4 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Aichi Target 11
  • conservation planning
  • ecoregions
  • ecosystem restoration
  • habitat conservation
  • human footprint
  • land conversion
  • representation


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