A small number of countries – 20 – contain 94% of the terrestrial and marine wildernesses that remain unspoilt and this fact, in itself, could make interventions to “protect” these areas easier (as efforts would therefore not be fragmented in too many different corners of the world), if there was the political will to do so. In fact, five countries (Russia, the United States, Brazil, Canada and Australia) alone contain 70% of the ecosystems that are still intact. However, only Australia and Canada currently seem intent on implementing a decisive environmental protection program. And yet, it is highly important to protect the last unspoilt areas of our planet, because they act as reservoirs of the biodiversity that is also fundamental for developed areas, as well as extraordinary “disposers” of excess carbon dioxide, which is released into the atmosphere as a result of industrial activities in the remaining parts of the world.
The study by the international team was published just a few days before a significant event: the fourteenth world gathering on biodiversity – the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – to be held in Sharm-el Sheikh, Egypt, from November 17 to 20, with the participation of representatives from many countries and intra-governmental organizations, such as the Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Another event to keep in mind is the climate change conference sponsored by the United Nations, which will be held in Katowice, Poland, from December 2 to 14.
The authors of the study published in Nature launched an appeal for all those that hold any authority in these matters to participate in the meetings and to unite forces in order to fully conserve the areas that remain unspoilt. Like we have said, these areas are becoming increasingly smaller: if we take the seas into account, for example, the polar areas are almost the only areas free from industrial fishing and widespread pollution.