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  1. Richard Sharp
  2. Stephen Polasky
  3. David Hole
  4. Mark Mulligan
  5. Carter Brandon
  6. Sandra Diaz
  7. Etienne Fluet-Chouinard
  8. Larry Gorenflo
  9. Justin Johnson
  10. Christina Kennedy
  11. Patrick Keys
  12. Kate Longley-Wood
  13. Peter McIntyre
  14. Monica Noon
  15. Unai Pascual
  16. Catherine Reidy Liermann
  17. Patrick Roehrdanz
  18. Guido Schmidt-Traub
  19. Rebecca Shaw
  20. Mark Spalding
  21. Will Turner
  22. Arnout van Soesbergen
  23. Reg Watson

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Description: ustaining the organisms, ecosystems and processes that underpin human wellbeing is necessary to achieve sustainable development. Here we define critical natural assets as the natural and semi-natural ecosystems that provide 90% of the total current magnitude of 14 types of nature’s contributions to people (NCP), and we map the global locations of these critical natural assets at 2 km resolution. Critical natural assets for maintaining local-scale NCP (12 of the 14 NCP) account for 30% of total global land area and 24% of national territorial waters, while 44% of land area is required to also maintain two global-scale NCP (carbon storage and moisture recycling). These areas overlap substantially with cultural diversity (areas containing 96% of global languages) and biodiversity (covering area requirements for 73% of birds and 66% of mammals). At least 87% of the world’s population live in the areas benefitting from critical natural assets for local-scale NCP, while only 16% live on the lands containing these assets. Many of the NCP mapped here are left out of international agreements focused on conserving species or mitigating climate change, yet this analysis shows that explicitly prioritizing critical natural assets and the NCP they provide could simultaneously advance development, climate and conservation goals.

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International


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Local and global critical natural assets

Chaplin-Kramer & Kennedy
Results of the optimizations for 12 local NCP (nature's contributions to people) at the national scale and 2 NCP at the global scale. These are produc...

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