What we've lost, what we have left and what we will lose if we don't act now. That is the message that the latest global maps of the planet's last intact forests and most vulnerable ocean areas tell us.
A Siberian tiger, one of the many species that will become extinct if a global network of protected areas aren't created.
The maps were launched at the Convention on Biological Diversity
(CBD)as government delegates begin negotiating how to stop the
world'splants and animals from disappearing forever.
of the last intact forests
of the ocean areas most in need of protection
TheCBD has set itself the goal of significantly reducing the
number ofplants and animals becoming extinct by 2010 for life on
land and 2012for ocean life. It is an ambitious target given that
they have barelystarted the work after 14 years of painfully slow
negotiations betweenthe more than 180 counties who have signed the
Ourlatest maps show that implementing a global network of large
protectedareas, which are required to stop the slide towards
extinction for manyplants and animals can be achieved now. The map
of the remaining intactforest areas was created using the latest
satellite images and is themost up-to-date map of its kind. The map
of the oceans uses the latestresearch to determine the areas of the
ocean in most need ofprotection.
If the global network of protected areas isn'timplemented,
within 20 years, a huge portion of the planet's plants andanimals
will be lost forever. There has never been a more urgent needfor
"Governments can use these new maps to fast tracka global
network of large, protected areas both on land and at sea.They can
no longer use the lack of maps and data as an excuse for nottaking
action to halt the biological catastrophe we are facing. If
theydon't, we run the risk of losing even more species forever, and
in sodoing jeopardising our own survival," said Greenpeace
Internationalforest campaigner, Christoph Thies.
The launch of the mapscoincides with Greenpeace campaigns to
highlight the globalbiodiversity crisis. Greenpeace is in the heart
of the Amazoncampaigning to prevent it being cleared to grow
agricultural productsuch as soy. Greenpeace has also set up a Global Forest
Rescue Station in the Paradise Forests of Papua New Guinea to
protect the forests from illegal logging.
At sea, our ship the Esperanza is continuing its 15-month long
Defending Our Oceans
Expedition,currently focused on stopping pirate fishing and
securing sustainablefuture livelihoods for the millions of people
living in coastal communities who dependon the marine environment
for food and income.
The challenge forthe world is to use these maps as a roadmap to
recovery and not as asad reminder to future generations of what we
could have saved if onlythe governments of the world had acted.
To view the maps of the last intact forests click here.
To view the maps of the oceans in most need of protection click here.
For more detailed forest maps available as google earth
(.kmz) or Arcview (.shp) file downloads, methodology explanation
and discussion forum go to www.intactforests.org
The forests and oceans need your help.