Support streams in for campaign to conserve 30% of the planet by 2030

28th September 2020 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

The Campaign for Nature has welcomed additional support, pledged by world leaders, for its science-based target to protect 30% of the planet by 2030.

Campaign for Nature works with scientists, indigenous people and a growing coalition of conservation organisations around the world to call on policymakers to commit to protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030.

The campaign plans to have the target officially agreed to during the fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China, next year.

These new endorsements come days before a United Nations Biodiversity Summit, where Heads of State will lay down their proposals to curb biodiversity loss. This leads up to the meeting in China next year.

Costa Rica and France are co-chair countries of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, which is an intergovernmental coalition of more than 30 countries around the world, which is championing the 30% protection of the planet proposal.

National Geographic Society explorer and nature author Enric Sala says that protecting 30% of the world’s land and ocean by 2030 shows exceptional leadership that we need in these times.

Campaign for Nature director Brian O’Donnell says scientists agree that at least 30% of the planet needs to be protected by 2030 to help confront the escalating crisis facing nature; meaning 30% of the planet must be conserved in a natural state by creating and expanding protected areas and dramatically increasing the capacity of nations to conserve lands, waters and wildlife.

“It is encouraging to see a growing list of world leaders embrace this proposal as an essential element of any effective biodiversity protection strategy. For our collective efforts to be successful, we must also ensure that any global biodiversity strategy respects and promotes indigenous peoples’ rights and is backed by significantly increased funding," he adds.

UK PM Boris Johnson on September 28 announced the country’s commitments to protect 30% of the UK’s lands by 2030 and joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People.

“We must turn these words into action and use them to build momentum, to agree to ambitious goals and targets. We must act now, right now.

“We cannot afford to dither and delay because biodiversity loss is happening today and it is happening at a frightening rate. Left unchecked, the consequences will be catastrophic for us all,” he stated.

European Commission executive VP Frans Timmermans has called on leaders to commit to protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030, saying it is a goal that is firmly grounded in scientific evidence.

“We have already proposed to apply it for the European Union in our 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. I also call on all government and business leaders to significantly step up investments in nature and biodiversity.

“The 30% target backed up by strong financial support for nature is at the same time an environmental imperative and a great opportunity to improve our health and help our economies transition to a sustainable economy. We have one chance and one chance only to get it right. It can be done. It should be done,” he noted.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change former executive secretary Christiana Figueres believes that addressing climate change and protecting biodiversity are not only interdependent goals, but are actually two sides of the same coin.

“They are inseparable, which is why we have to urgently develop the financial models and financial willingness to allow us to protect 30% of our surface, including oceans and soils by 2030,” she added.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles pointed out that to have the impact required, the world must think of scale.

“Global megaprojects such as 30% [protection] by 2030, the great green wall, Africa 100, the 2020 initiative and many others, have the potential to not only improve natural capital, but also to increase opportunities in the green economy, while improving sustainable livelihoods and local economic growth.”