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Unequivocal principles for area-based biodiversity conservation
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  • Federico Riva,
  • Nick Haddad,
  • Lenore Fahrig,
  • Cristina Banks-Leite
Federico Riva
VU Amsterdam

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Nick Haddad
Michigan State University W K Kellogg Biological Station
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Lenore Fahrig
Carleton University
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Cristina Banks-Leite
Imperial College London
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Recent agreements have strengthened and expanded ongoing international commitments to protect and restore native habitats. Nevertheless, how such commitments should be implemented has been historically controversial, and nuances in ongoing debates are often misunderstood, hindering biodiversity conservation. We propose three unequivocal principles that must be central to how area-based biodiversity conservation will occur in the coming decades. These principles relate to habitat coverage, amount, and connectivity, and their enunciation clarifies apparent contradictions in the literature. We explain why socio-economic considerations that are central to current biodiversity conservation cannot override these principles. Biodiversity must be supported everywhere on Earth, especially when considering the right of human population to access nature and to benefit from countless ecosystem services.