Tools for landscape planning and biodiversity conservation.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has developed a scientifically based tool called the Species Threat Abatement and Restoration (STAR) tool to conserve biodiversity. STAR measures the contributions of specific conservation and restoration actions in specific locations by businesses, governments, civil society and other actors towards global goals to stop extinction. The tool can be used by these organizations to document their efforts towards preserving biodiversity. The main cause of species loss is habitat destruction, and 56% of global extinction risk reduction can be achieved by restoring habitats.

The STAR tool currently includes data on 5,362 threatened and nearly threatened species. Additionally, 24% of global extinction risk reduction can be achieved by increasing the sustainability of crop production.

What is the STAR tool?

The STAR tool measures the contributions of specific conservation and restoration actions in specific locations. It helps identify actions that have the potential to benefit threatened species and supports the establishment of science-based biodiversity goals.

How STAR works:

STAR is calculated based on data on the distribution, threats and extinction risk of threatened species, such as that derived from the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.

Distribution is measured as a given species’ current habitat area (for threat reduction) and historically lost habitat area (for restoration). Threats are documented using a standard classification scheme for threats. Extinction risk is measured using IUCN’s Red List categories and criteria.

The resulting calculation can then be reported for any geographical unit (e.g. a site, landscape, portfolio, country) and is fully scalable and comparable across areas.

Why conservation and restoration of nature?

Biodiversity in intricately complex ecosystems provides for clean food, clean water, clean air, carbon sequestration, water management, medicine, and prevents pandemics.

” … – The health of the ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating faster than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” says IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson in the UN nature decline report 2019.

The nature crisis and the climate crisis are mutually reinforcing and a rapid transition is necessary, according to three UN reports.

It is greatly undercommunicated how much of an egg of gold intact nature represents: to maintain carbon stores, to buffer against climate impacts and to secure vital natural goods. Robust nature is also crucial to climate development, says biologists to Nrk.

“The dire warning in our report must be heeded because civilization depends on the planet’s plants, animals and microorganisms that provide essential ecosystem services ranging from crop pollination and protection to delivering food from the sea and maintaining a livable climate,” says Prof Paul Ehrlich at Stanford University in the US to the Guardian in 2017. “Other ecosystem services include clean air and water…”

Read more about the Species Threat Abatement and Restoration (STAR) tool.

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