Global protected habitat areas...
...have roughly doubled in the last 30 years
Humans use a lot of the world’s resources. Sometimes it feels like we are wholly inadequate stewards of the planet we live on, polluting recklessly and over-using land and sea for food. To some extent, this is certainly the case - beef production in particular is the major driver of deforestation worldwide (eating 1/5 less beef would halve deforestation rates). But humans are allocating increasing portions of the world to wildlife.
Again, this is only happening because the world is getting richer. As countries have to worry less about individual survival, getting enough calories, basic healthcare and income, they can start to worry about things like environmental impact.
So, in short the total percentage protected land has increased from 8% to 15%, and protected seas have increased from 5% to 11%, in the last 30 years. That’s a total of 24 million square kilometres that is protected now that wasn’t 30 years ago. As always, there’s a lot more we can do (in this case, eating less beef would be a good start!), but this is already a huge achievement.
Thanks for reading Cheerful Data! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.