In 2003, 11.5% of all land, or 18.8 million square kilometers, were protected areas (source: UNDP-WCMC).
In their comment in Nature discussed in a previous post, Michel Loreau et al. wrote,
“Although protected areas have increased slightly during the past few decades,…”
That is just not true. Protected areas have increased dramatically during the past few decades, both in number of sites and in area.
A protected area is not a magic bullet. Is money better spent, not on new protected areas, but in other ways? On making existing protected areas work? On conservation outside protected areas? Does the very institutions designed to stimulate conservation actually create incentives for biodiversity degradation? (see e.g. this post, or Rupert Gatti et al.). We urgently need to find out. That takes research, not another international panel of experts as recommended by Loreau et al.