The Convention on Biological Diversity Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 was adopted at the 10th Conference of the Parties in Nagoya, Japan. The plan outlines 20 Aichi Targets to achieve global biodiversity conservation. A fundamental global approach to biodiversity conservation is the use of protected areas. Arguably all 20 Aichi Targets have implications for the establishment and management of protected areas, but only Target 11 addresses them directly. This paper carries out a clause by clause analysis of Target 11 and makes recommendations to countries on interpreting each clause in order to best achieve biodiversity conservation using protected areas. Despite containing only 61 words, Target 11 is surprisingly dense. It applies to both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and sets goals for spatial planning (representativeness, ecological connectivity and areas of importance for biodiversity); protected areas management (including management effectiveness and social equity); and criteria about what counts toward being a protected area under Target 11. The authors argue for a holistic interpretation of Target 11 as a way for the global community to use protected areas to change the current unacceptable trends in global biodiversity loss.
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