Global Safety Net Interactive Web Application

The Global Safety Net (GSN1) brings together the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) with 11 leading conservation priority frameworks, additively compiled into five main geospatial layers -- Species rarity sites, High biodiversity areas, Large mammal landscapes, Intact wilderness, and additional Climate stabilization areas -- totaling 50.4% of the terrestrial surface. An additional analysis identifies potential wildlife corridor areas, which would enable species to be more resilient as the planet warms to 1.5°C in global average temperature rise. The GSN data is available through an interactive web application developed by One Earth in partnership with Google Earth Engine and the data visualization firm Graphicacy. Users can click on a country, state, or ecoregion to see configurations of biologically important land for each region.

To use the application, launch the GSN Viewer. The default view is centered on Europe, but you can pan and zoom to other areas by dragging the window or using the zoom controls in the lower right of the display window. You can also jump to a specific location by using the search bar in the header. At the top of the display window there is a slider that controls the transparency of the data layers superimposed upon the base map. This allows you to see the location of specific towns or topographical features in relationship to one or more of the GSN layers. The default view is set to a ‘Dark’ base map, but you can toggle to a ‘Satellite’ base map on the top right of the display window. 

On the left of the display window are two additional controls. The ‘Boundary Lines’ dialog box, allows you to select from a list of polygons to be used for data retrieval:

The default selection is set to ‘Country’ boundaries, but the drop-down menu allows you to select other boundary frameworks – currently ‘Ecoregions’ and ‘U.S. States’. Clicking inside of a boundary line will activate the polygon (red), retrieving the data associated with that polygon, displayed in the bar chart that opens to the right. This includes spatial extents of each of the main layers, overlap with indigenous territories, and ‘Protection Level’ (a score of 0-10 based on the percentage of the GSN already under protection). Positioning your cursor over the bars reveals specifics about each of the main layers. Alternatively, you can display the results as a table. Clicking on the top right of this panel will open an expanded version of the chart (in a new tab), where you can print or download the data:

In the bottom left of the main display window there is a checkbox menu that allows you to toggle on and off the component layers of the Global Safety Net, as well additional reference layers – currently Inland surface water, Terrestrial ecoregions, and Potential wildlife corridors. Note: in the GSN analysis, layers do not overlap, but rather are additive. For example, Species rarity sites (magenta) represent the composite of the five component rarity sub-layers not currently included in the WDPA.

For more information on the methodologies behind the analysis and other supplemental materials please visit the Science page. To see a summary of all the countries ranked in order of Protection Level, visit the Rankings page. The Global Safety Net is meant to be a continually evolving research effort refined and improved by new scientific findings and best-in-class ecoregional conservation plans. If you would like to contribute to future versions of the GSN please Contact Us for more details.