Planet’s protected areas fall short of public’s expectations

Results from the first-ever global survey released by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) show that people want significantly more protected natural space than currently exists.

A poll of more than 7,000 people from Australia, Brazil, China, India, South Africa, UK and USA shows people think that 50% of the planet’s land and oceans should be protected, when in reality a mere 3% of the world’s oceans and only 15% of land is currently under protection.

The Space for Nature poll was commissioned to understand the public’s perceptions and expectations of what percentage of land and sea is protected as conservationists, NGOs and governments from over 160 countries prepare to define the world’s needs from protected areas in the future at the once-in-a-decade IUCN World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.

Professor Jonathan Baillie, Director of Conservation at ZSL, comments: “ZSL and WWF’s Living Planet Index has recently demonstrated that global wildlife populations have halved in 40 years.  If this trend is to be reversed we need to think about how much space we leave for other species and I believe that if we act now, setting aside 50% of the planet for protected areas is achievable. ZSL looks forward to working with 4,000 experts from across the globe at the upcoming IUCN World Parks Congress to clarify what can and must be done to improve the coverage and effectiveness of protected spaces.”


See a presentation of the full survey results here (1.06MB, opens in new tab)
ZSL at the World Parks Congress

More news from ZSL

juvenille angel shark

Local diver snaps first ever underwater photos and videos of Critically Endangered juvenile Angelshark – providing further evidence that the...

london thames seal

ZSL’s annual seal population survey highlights Thames’ role as important ecosystem ahead of global summits for environment and nature


International conservation charity, ZSL, leads discovery of new frog species in Vietnam