Executive summary

Download a summary of the British Ecological Society’s 2022 report on protected areas and nature recovery

Arran Northern Mountains
Arran Northern Mountains Shutterstock/James Linighan

Executive summary

Area-based conservation on land and at sea will be a critical component of the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) efforts towards addressing the connected climate and ecological crises, for which the recovery of nature is crucial.

The BES policy report provides an overview of the available ecological evidence on this topic, synthesised in response to the UK government’s policy to protect 30% of all four nations’ land and seas for nature by 2030 (‘30×30’).

The UK has helped lead this international commitment, which many other nations have also adopted, and now the commitments must be implemented to protect nature effectively. Failure to do so within this timeframe could result in continued and  irrecoverable declines in biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and the array of associated societal benefits.

Area-based conservation, inclusive of protected areas (PAs) and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs), will be an essential tool towards this effort.