Full naturalness – Wilderness on the French political agenda

In May 2019, the seventh session of the Interngovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) took place at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. At this important meeting President Macron announced to commit 10% of France, including land and sea areas, in full naturalness.

To protect the land and sea areas in full naturalness could mean that Wilderness becomes also a more important category on the agenda.

Vlado Vancura, Deputy Chairman of European Wilderness Society

The announcement further on clarified, that the driving force behind this visionary statement is an objective of France to become a global leader in biodiversity protection. Furthermore, this vision includes the objective to restore biodiversity. For that, protected areas should cover 30% of French territories. Therefore, detailed plans for the implementation are being established to reach the objectives.

Interngovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

The IPBES is an inter-governmental panel providing scientific policy advice on biodiversity and ecosystem services. In fact, it is comparable with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), but for biodiversity. The report released in May is about the global biodiversity and state of health of the planet. In this three-year research report developed by 150 experts from 50 countries, the results highlight a clear prediction. Namely, the degradation of ecosystems on Earth through human activities.

Additionally, the researcher concluded that the rate of extinction is relatively high. As a result, the IPBES report will be the scientific basis for the international negotiations in the Conference of the Parties (COP) in China next year. There it will help to set the agenda and implementations for the future. However, this meeting will hopefully highlight the importance of spontaneous ecosystem development and restoration as well.

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