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Thursday, February 2, 2023

COP15: UK announces funding to deliver on ‘30by30’ target

Wildlife, plants and habitats at risk across the globe are set to benefit from new government funding announced by Environment Secretary, Thérèse Coffey, at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

Thérèse Coffey
UK Environment Secretary, Thérèse Coffey

The UK will pledge nearly £30 million to support developing countries in delivering the “30by30” target, which is aiming to protect least 30 percent of the world’s land and ocean habitats by 2030. The target has the support of over 100 countries globally, with UK negotiators driving to get it included in a new UN Global Biodiversity Framework being negotiated in Montreal this week.

The funding announcement, made on Friday, December 16, 2022, signals a major commitment to provide nations with the tools they need to protect fragile ecosystems and tackle some of the causes of habitat loss such as deforestation, and unsustainable farming and fishing practices, and protect wildlife threatened with extinction.

Coffey said: “At COP15 countries can put nature back on the road to recovery with a strong Global Biodiversity Framework that includes a commitment to see at least 30% of the world’s land and ocean protected by 2030.

“In support of this objective I’m pleased to announce up to £29 million to support developing countries in delivering the ‘30by30’ target and £5 million of funding for projects which showcase the incredible work underway to study and restore nature across our network of Overseas Territories.”

The UK also announced funding for the study and restoration of wildlife and plants under threat from a changing climate and invasive species in our overseas territories. The Darwin Plus scheme will support over 20 conservation projects in these unique and globally significant environments.

Projects to benefit from the £5.79 million of new funding include:

  • Using satellite technology to monitor seabird populations in South Georgia
  • Reintroducing threatened plants such as Falkland Rock Cress and two bird species – Cobb’s Wren and Tussac-bird – to the Falkland Islands wildlife reserves
  • Helping support endangered sea turtles on the Cayman Islands
  • Measuring the impact of Humpback whales on Krill populations around South Georgia

The announcement was made as the next stage of negotiations at COP15, known as the High-Level Segment, commenced, with world leaders, international businesses and civil society coming together to agree action to reverse the twin challenges of nature loss and climate change.

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