Many people want to set aside half of Earth as nature
Jonathan Baillie, executive vice president and chief scientist of National Geographic Society, notes that this Half-Earth plan is necessary to meet the Paris climate target of limiting global warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degree Celsius) and achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. “People want what is scientifically needed for us to have a secure future,” he says.
The survey, a collaboration between the National Geographic Society and Ipsos, polled 12,000 adults in Australia, Brazil, China, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Researchers sought to understand how people in these countries—all places where NGS works—value nature and biological diversity, information Baillie says is vital for guiding policymakers and measuring the organization’s long-term impact.
In five countries with lower internet access—Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, and China—the online poll's results could be more representative of affluent, urban-dwelling citizens than of the general population—a potential limitation to the survey, researchers warn.