Restoring 30% of the world’s ecosystems in priority areas could stave off extinctions and absorb CO2

Returning specific ecosystems that have been replaced by farming to their natural state in all continents worldwide would rescue the majority of land-based species of mammals, amphibians and birds under threat of extinction. Such measures would also soak up more than 465 billion tons of carbon dioxide, according to a new report released today. Protecting 30% of the priority areas identified in the study, together with protecting ecosystems still in their natural form, would reduce carbon emissions equivalent to 49% of all the carbon that has built up in our atmosphere over the last two centuries. Some 27 researchers from 12 countries contributed to the report, which assesses forests, grasslands, shrublands, wetlands and arid ecosystems.

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