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Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) meeting in France for the World Conservation Congress on Friday, September 10, 2021, approved a much-anticipated motion to protect at least 30% of land and ocean by 2030, known as 30×30.

Zhang Xinsheng
IUCN President, Zhang Xinsheng

Motion 101 calls on IUCN members to support:

  • recognition of “the evolving science, the majority of which supports protecting, conserving and restoring at least half or more of the planet is likely necessary to reverse biodiversity loss, address climate change and as a foundation for sustainably managing the whole planet.”
  • at a minimum, a target of effectively and equitably protecting and conserving at least 30% of terrestrial areas and of inland waters … and of coastal and marine areas, respectively, with a focus on sites of particular importance for biodiversity, in well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) by 2030 in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.”
  • “the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and work towards the implementation of all protection, conservation and restoration activities with the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples, and with appropriate recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands, territories and resources, as set out under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and full respect for their diverse knowledge systems”
  • “the full and effective participation of local communities in the protection, conservation and restoration activities, with the recognition of customary and local governance practices as appropriate, along with their diverse knowledge system”

Though unbinding, the motion sends a strong signal to the world that the UN biodiversity treaty – expected to be signed in Kunming, China in April 2021 – will include a pledge to protect 30×30. The draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework already calls to protect 30×30.

Brian O’Donnell, the Director of Campaign for Nature, said: “Members of the IUCN have formally endorsed a global target to protect and conserve at least 30% of lands, freshwater and oceans by 2030. The motion also signals that the 30% target is the minimum amount of land and ocean needed for conservation in the near term. Passage of this motion sends a clear signal to world leaders that the 30×30 target and respect for Indigenous and local community rights must be agreed to at COP15.” 

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