In September 2020, a RESOLVE-led research team published "A 'Global Safety Net' to reverse biodiversity loss and stabilize the Earth's climate" in Science Advances. It is the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas showing how natural lands can be protected and linked together to support a global recovery that benefits both biodiversity and human welfare.

The Global Safety Net builds upon multiple global-scale biodiversity and land cover data sets to identify 35.3% of the Earth's land where enhanced protection and restoration of the natural world will be significant to addressing three converging crises—climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and the emergence of novel viruses such as COVID-19. Importantly, it provides a "blueprint" for each country and region to plan and implement strategies for top-priority conservation sites. The Global Safety Net is also available online as an interactive map application (

The project, called the Global Safety Net, maps out both areas that are already protected, such as national parks, and those that need to be protected to tackle simultaneous crises: climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

Fast Company

Since its publication, the Global Safety Net has received widespread media coverage and was featured in over 60 press articles worldwide with an estimated reach of 250 million views. Notable news outlets include The Guardian, Thompson Reuters, Mongabay, Science News, NPR, U.S. News & World Report, CBS Interactive, and Fast Company. Dr. Eric Dinerstein, Director of RESOLVE's Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions Program and lead author of the study, has been featured in numerous interviews, in which he highlights the significance and timeliness of the Global Safety Net.

The Global Safety Net was given an Honorable Mention in the AI & Data category as part of Fast Company's World Changing Ideas Awards 2021. In addition to English media, multiple international news outlets also published articles about the Global Safety Net in Spanish, German, and Italian.


The Global Safety Net highlights the critical role Indigenous Peoples play at stewarding over one-third of the world's top priority areas for nature conservation and climate stabilization. The publication has been featured in articles by The Guardian and New York Times as the scientific backing for the calls by many Indigenous communities for stronger commitments for biodiversity conservation and to emphasize their role in decision-making.

There is no question [that] Indigenous people have been much better stewards of nature than the rest of us," says Eric Dinerstein, a conservation biologist at the Washington, D.C., sustainability nonprofit RESOLVE. "The single most important thing we can do is empower and finance Indigenous peoples to conserve their sovereign lands.

Science Magazine

As a growing swell of scientific research highlights the integral role Indigenous communities play in environmental conservation, new technologies are emerging that will help to protect them and the regions they care for. One such innovation is the Global Safety Net, a "blueprint" to restore our biosphere, rebalance the global climate system and help prevent future pandemics.

The Guardian

Dr. Carly Vynne, co-author and RESOLVE Strategic Partner, also published an article in Nature Portfolio that provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the thought process, methods, and multi-disciplinary team effort behind the development of the Global Safety Net.

Cover Image by Gloaïa

Andy Lee and Sanjiv Fernando


April 22, 2021

Updated April 23, 2021