Scientists and policymakers agree that we need to step up efforts to conserve biodiversity. We need to move beyond legally protected areas, and we need to engage as many actors as possible from different economic sectors.
Fortunately, this is now starting to happen worldwide, following a call from the Convention on Biological Diversity, which in its Strategic Plan and Aichi Targets calls for the implementation of ”other effective area-based conservation measures”, or OECMs.
Such “other measures” play an important role in complementing legally protected areas, often in the places where we live and work. They also provide a unique opportunity to recognize and encourage the biodiversity commitments of individuals, communities and companies in the context of their own lives, social needs and economic activities. We desperately need this kind of encouragement and engagement.
The growing number of voluntary initiatives, however, requires the need to ensure transparency and accountability so that commitments can be shared and successes celebrated.