To what extent are the world’s rivers protected? In 2010, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, set a 17% target for the protection of ‘inland waters,’ including rivers. But there was a problem: there was no good way to measure progress toward that target.
Until today, a map from 1876 has been the backbone for our understanding of global biodiversity. Thanks to advances in modern technology and data on more than 20,000 species, scientists have now produced a next-generation map depicting the organization of life on Earth. Published online in Science Express, the new map provides fundamental information regarding the diversity of life on our planet and is of major significance for future biodiversity research.