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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

COP15: Countries secure 30×30 target in Global Biodiversity Framework, commit to implementation

The High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC N&P) celebrated the inclusion of a historic target to protect or conserve at least 30% of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030 (30×30) in the United Nations Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework approved on Monday, December 19, 2022, at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

CBD COP15
CBD COP15 delegates applaud reaching an agreement in Montreal

They immediately committed to a plan to work together to ensure the implementation of the ambitious global target.

The coalition, which now has 116 countries behind it, held a Ministerial meeting to finalise the modalities of a new mechanism to support delivery of 30×30. The High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People is committing to support countries with concrete actions to establish new protected or conserved areas and improve the management of existing protected or conserved areas, including other effective conservation measures (OECMs).

Co-chairs Mr. Franz Tattenbach, Costa Rician Minister of Environment and Energy; Mr. Christophe Béchu, French Minister of Environment and Ecological Transition; and Mrs Bérangère Couillard, French Minister of State in charge of Ecology; Lord Zac Goldsmith, the UK Minister for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on behalf of the United Kingdom met with the International Steering Committee members – Australia, Chile, Colombia, Gabon, Japan, Maldives, Nigeria, Norway, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, the United States of America – to finalise and agree on the governance structures, the developed tools to deliver key activities, and the budget and partnerships arrangements in the implementation phase of the Coalition, known as HAC 2.0. 

The World Resources Initiative (WRI) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) also signed an MoU as future hosts of the HAC 2.0.

The Coalition committed to continue its partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities representatives in HAC 2.0 to achieve the 30×30 target, recognising the crucial role that they play in safeguarding nature and the importance of ensuring that protected and conserved areas align with human rights and wellbeing for people as well as biodiversity.

The Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Rainforest Trust – on behalf of The Protecting Our Planet Challenge (POP), a $5 billion commitment to protect and conserve 30% of the planet by 2030 – pledged $3 million over the next three years to support the HAC 2.0 governance.

It will launch a critical new implementation phase of the Coalition to help sustain political commitment and engagement, implement conservation plans, support capacity building and knowledge sharing, orchestrate technical assistance, and mobilise resources to achieve 30×30 targets around the world.

Bloomberg Philanthropies support is for the HAC’s 2.0 ocean 30×30 efforts and is part of the POP group’s $1 billion ocean pledge made at the UN Ocean conference in June 2022.

Franz Tattenbach, Costa Rican Minister of Environment and Energy said: “Resource mobilisation from all sources is strongly required for the effective implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. I congratulate the extraordinary commitment of philanthropists with the HAC 2.0 that will have an enormous contribution in the achievement of the 30×30 commitment by 2030 and it is already strengthening the involvement of sectors as new partners of the coalition. I reaffirm the full commitment of Costa Rica with the HAC 2.0 to facilitate and support the protection of 30% of the world`s land and ocean by 2030 to halt biodiversity loss and address climate change and desertification.”

Christophe Béchu, French Minister for the Environment and Ecological Transition, said: “To protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and 30% of its seas by 2030, HAC members have collectively committed to create an operational tool to support the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework, especially the “30×30” target. With seven years left, we are sending a strong message saying that we are ready to start working right now on biodiversity conservation.”

Lord Goldsmith, UK Minister for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office: “I am so pleased to see the huge amount of support from Ministers of the HAC countries this week and the unity behind getting this critical target agreed here at COP15. It’s also fantastic to see the work on HAC 2.0 coming to fruition. The HAC 2.0 will be an absolutely critical mechanism to support the implementation phase. All HAC members are united in our determination to address the catastrophic decline in the natural world… a world upon which our future peace, prosperity and survival depend.”

Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund, said: “We must recognise that the loss of nature and the changing climate are not two separate problems. They are two sides of the same coin. We simply cannot address climate change without reversing the loss of nature. The Bezos Earth Fund is deeply committed to supporting the implementation of the 30×30 initiative and this new effort is the next critical step in bringing it a reality.”

Antha Williams of Bloomberg Philanthropies said: “At this critical moment to safeguard our planet, the Bloomberg Ocean Initiative continues our decade of work partnering with leading local communities and global partners and governments to drive ambitious climate action. To pull the world back from a climate emergency, we must put the ocean at the heart of the climate crisis solution. By helping support countries to reach their 30×30 targets, we aim to do just that.”

Dr. James C. Deutsch, CEO of Rainforest Trust, said: “Well over half the world’s nations have pledged to protect 30% of their lands and waters by 2030 through the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People. Rainforest Trust is privileged to partner with and support the Coalition because no initiative will have as great an impact halting and reversing biodiversity loss and stemming climate change as creating and expanding protected and conserved areas. We salute the courage and leadership of the High Ambition nations and pledge them our support.”

The HAC was launched in January 2021 to advocate for the world to adopt the new science-based 30×30 target. About 116 countries have since joined this intergovernmental coalition, which has worked closely with the Global Ocean Alliance to ensure this target becomes a foundation of the global biodiversity framework agreed at COP15.

The most recent scientific contributions to the 6th assessment report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) on “Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”, further underscore the importance of the 30×30 target, noting that the effective ecosystem conservation of at least 30% of land and ocean will be important to halt biodiversity loss.

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