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Sixteen years of change in the global terrestrial human footprint and implications for biodiversity conservation

Venter, O; Sanderson, EW; Magrach, A; Allan, JR; Beher, J; Jones, KR; Possingham, HP; Laurance, WF; Wood, P; Fekete, BM; Levy, MA; Watson, JEM

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS
2016
VL / 7 - BP / - EP /
abstract
Human pressures on the environment are changing spatially and temporally, with profound implications for the planet's biodiversity and human economies. Here we use recently available data on infrastructure, land cover and human access into natural areas to construct a globally standardized measure of the cumulative human footprint on the terrestrial environment at 1 km(2) resolution from 1993 to 2009. We note that while the human population has increased by 23% and the world economy has grown 153%, the human footprint has increased by just 9%. Still, 75% the planet's land surface is experiencing measurable human pressures. Moreover, pressures are perversely intense, widespread and rapidly intensifying in places with high biodiversity. Encouragingly, we discover decreases in environmental pressures in the wealthiest countries and those with strong control of corruption. Clearly the human footprint on Earth is changing, yet there are still opportunities for conservation gains.
96th Global

AccesS level

DOAJ Gold, Green Accepted, Green Published

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PROYECTO FINANCIADO POR PLAN NACIONAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN AGENCIA ESTATAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN, MINISTERIO DE CIENCIA E INNOVACIÓN. PID2019-109127RB-I00