Nature Map Earth is developing an integrated global map of biodiversity, carbon storage, and other dimensions of nature by consolidating and crowd-sourcing data from many sources.

This integrated map will allow decision makers at global, national and sub-national levels to identify priority areas to operationalize their targets for the conservation and restoration of nature.

The initiative will synthesize the best available data using methodologies that are globally consistent and draw on local information through consultative evaluation and validation. In this way, Nature Map Earth will help inform decision making at all levels (including CBD/UNFCCC, national, and sub-national) on what post-2020 biodiversity targets would imply. Both global and national perspectives are of course critical to the outcome of the post-2020 process. To maximize policy relevance at national and sub-national levels we will reproduce the data with the highest possible resolution. Mapped outputs will be made available at the time of the September 2019 United Nations Climate Summit with a view to provide timely input into negotiations leading to the 2020 Biodiversity COP.

Nature Map Earth will focus on synthesizing terrestrial data for biodiversity, carbon, and other ecosystem services. Building on the work of the Bending the Curve consortium of biodiversity modeling teams, which was launched by IIASA and others in 2017, the Nature Map Earth initiative will also explore geospatially explicit estimates of restoration potentials across the world. This initiative will also cooperate with National Geographic Society and other partners to combine terrestrial maps with geospatial data for ocean biodiversity and marine ecosystem services.

A particular priority of Nature Map Earth will be to enhance forest management data to support better policies for sustainable forest management and forest restoration that maximize benefits for biodiversity and climate change mitigation. To this end we will crowd-source forest management data through a Geo-Wiki as well as plant-species distribution data through a citizen-science campaign on iNaturalist. Together these campaigns will generate better forest management and species distribution data, which are both critical inputs for Nature Map Earth.

Research partners:

  • SDSN
  • Royal Botanical Gardens Kew


Abstract image showing relationship between people, environmental conservation and growth

03 February 2022

Ill-considered area-based conservation could affect food security and health

Area-based conservation targets aimed at stopping and reversing global biodiversity loss are set to form an integral part of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework discussions later this year. An international team of researchers have however found that strictly protecting global land area for conservation could have an adverse impact on human health and food security in some parts of the world.
Close up of senior hands giving small plant to a child over defocused green background

24 August 2021

Meeting biodiversity, climate, and water objectives through integrated strategies

We are collectively failing to conserve the world’s biodiversity and to mobilize natural solutions to help curb global warming. A new study carried out by the Nature Map Consortium, shows that managing a strategically placed 30% of land for conservation could safeguard 70% of all considered terrestrial plant and vertebrate animal species, while simultaneously conserving more than 62% of the world’s above and below ground vulnerable carbon, and 68% of all clean water.