50 countries commit to protect 30% of world’s land and ocean by 2030

15th January 2021


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Author

Ewan Moffatt

Over 50 countries have committed to protect at least 30% of the globe’s land and ocean by 2030, and to champion an ambitious global deal to halt species loss and protect ecosystems.

Launched at the One Planet Summit for biodiversity, the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People – which is co-chaired by Costa Rica, France and the UK – hopes to secure the global deal at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP15 later this year.

This comes after a recent McKinsey study found that protecting 30% of the planet's land, and at least 30% of the planet’s ocean, could create up to 650,000 jobs and support about 30 million jobs in ecotourism and sustainable fishing.

In addition, scientific evidence suggests that protecting 30% of the planet, at a minimum, by 2030, could halt mass biodiversity loos, with one million animal and plant species now threatened with extinction, many within decades.

“As co-host of the next Climate COP, the UK is absolutely committed to leading the global fight against biodiversity loss and we are proud to act as co-chair of the HAC,” said the country's Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment, Zac Goldsmith.

“We have an enormous opportunity at this year’s biodiversity conference in China to forge an agreement to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and ocean by 2030. I am hopeful our joint ambition will curb the global decline of the natural environment, so vital to the survival of our planet.”

The most comprehensive analysis to date on the economic implications of nature conservation found that the benefits of protecting 30% of the planet would outweigh the costs by a ratio of at least five to one.

Additional studies have shown that marine protected areas could improve fisheries, recreation, natural hazard protection and food security, with the potential to restore fish populations by over 600%, with positive spillover effects on commercial fishing as well.

The HAC for Nature and People has created a task force to address indigenous people and local communities' concerns, and promote indigenous wisdom in the CBD negotiations.

“We have a moral and pragmatic imperative to come together, to take strong decisions that will get us one step closer to halting biodiversity loss and achieving the Paris Agreement goals,” said Andrea Meza, the Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica,

“I am very grateful for the support of over 50 members of the coalition and I am hopeful that more countries will join us in our efforts in the run up to COP15.”

The 50 countries include: Angola, Armenia, Benin, Botswana, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Japan, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Congo, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Uganda, the UAE and UK.

Image credit: iStock

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