The Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Wyss Campaign for Nature hosted Heads of State and ministers from around the world
Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt: On the first day of COP27, presidents and ministers from Palau, Nigeria, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States have today affirmed their support for the 30×30 target which commits countries to a global effort to achieve the protection of at least thirty percent of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030 to help curb biodiversity loss and climate change.
His Excellency President of Palau, Surangel S. Whipps Jr, today announced that Palau has joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, an intergovernmental group championing the protection of at least 30 percent of the world’s land and ocean by 2030.
Engineer H. Musa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Environment and Climate Change from the Federal Republic of Nigeria announced that all 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had agreed to support 30×30 as part of an “ECOWAS Appeal for an Ambitious Global Response to the Biodiversity Crisis”.
The Right Honourable Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for the United Kingdom announced that in discussions with the governments of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga, they had all declared their support for the 30×30 land and ocean target. This makes a total of 112 countries from every region on earth who now support the 30×30 target.
All the leaders at the event expressed their determination to get a global agreement for 30×30 at the upcoming COP15, the Convention on Biological Diversity summit to be held in Montreal in December, and affirmed their ambition to achieve 30×30 targets together.
“The commitments to be made this week should include the goal of achieving 30×30. Protecting 30% of the world’s ocean is a manageable target for all countries and we should not entertain any excuses for not achieving that goal,” said His Excellency Surangel S. Whipps Jr, President of Palau.”Palau and other small island states cannot and should not shoulder the burden of protecting the world’s ocean and land alone. It is time for the world to take responsibility and act so that we are all able to protect and preserve our planet for the generations to come.”
“I am proud to say that the ECOWAS region has reached a consensus to support the ambitious target of protecting 30% of our lands and oceans by 2030 as essential to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss,” said Engineer H. Musa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Environment and Climate Change from the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the event. “But this is only part of the solution. We must unite so that our call for ambition in the expansion of protected areas is met with equal ambition in finance.”
“Protecting nature on land and at sea is essential if we are to maintain global warming to 1.5 to 2 degrees,” said The Right Honourable Lord Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and Ocean Co-Chair of the High Ambition Coalition. “But it is also vital for many reasons beyond climate: Nature provides humanity with priceless services for free; cleaning our air and water, preventing drought and floods, maintaining food security, preventing disease, all of which underpin the stability of our economies and societies. Recognising the value of these services is a vital element of these UN negotiations.”
“Protecting nature and tackling climate change go hand in hand. More than ever, we need conservation to protect biodiversity from the effects of climate change and unsustainable activities, and only a strong action for nature can keep us on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degree,” said Christophe Béchu, Co-Chair of the High Ambition Coalition and France’s Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion. “In this context, the 30×30 target is crucial both to reverse the loss of biodiversity and to fight against climate change.”
“Through the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People we have established large and growing global support for the 30×30 target – it is the most widely supported of any of the draft Global Biodiversity Framework Targets. In that regard, the 30×30 is a “must have” and an essential pillar to successful outcome at COP15 in Montreal,” said Franz Tattenbach Capra, Co-Chair of the High Ambition Coalition and Minister of the Environment and Energy, Costa Rica. “We have now launched the next steps of the High Ambition Coalition which aims to focus on the 30×30 implementation beyond COP-15. This HAC 2.0 represents momentum to implement 30×30 that we didn’t see after the Aichi area-based targets with new financial commitments, including those from the philanthropic community, and a recognition of the essential role Indigenous people and local communities play in the success of 30×30.”
“At the upcoming Biodiversity COP we will hopefully adopt 30% as our North Star in the same way that the Paris Agreement North Star is 1.5 degrees celsius,” said Monica Medina, Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Sources, and Assistant Secretary for Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Department of State, USA at the event.
These commitments follow last year’s largest-ever private funding commitment for biodiversity conservation aimed at tackling the Earth’s climate, extinction and health crises. In 2021, nine organizations joined together to pledge $5 billion over the next 10 years to support the creation, expansion, management and monitoring of protected and conserved areas of land, inland water and sea, working with Indigenous Peoples, local communities, civil society and governments. The announcement marked the largest private funding commitment ever to biodiversity conservation.
Scientists have issued repeated warnings that nature is in a state of crisis, threatened by habitat loss, pollution, overexploitation, invasive species, and climate change. The ongoing and rapid loss of natural areas across the world poses a grave threat to the health and security of all living things. However, overwhelming scientific evidence shows that conserving at least 30% of our global land and ocean can not only help curb biodiversity loss and prevent extinctions but also store carbon, help prevent future pandemics, and bolster economic growth.
“It is crucial at this moment in time that we are able to recover and protect the areas of the world that guarantee the life of species” said His Excellency Ivan Duque, former President, Republic of Colombia at the event. “We must declare protected areas and that is why 30×30 is so meaningful.”
“We must recognize 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,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. “That’s why the Bezos Earth Fund committed $1 billion toward implementing 30×30 to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030 and call on more to join us. We can reduce biodiversity loss and enhance resilience to climate change, and we should do so with Indigenous Peoples and local communities at the center of this effort as stewards of the natural world.”
“Accelerating the world’s climate progress requires us to take urgent, ambitious action. As leaders from around the world gather in Sharm el Sheikh, the Bloomberg Ocean Initiative continues our decade of work working with leading local communities and global partners, Heads of State, and ministers to drive ambitious climate action,” said Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The ocean is one of our greatest allies in the escalating climate crisis, absorbing vast quantities of carbon dioxide and buffering us from the full force of the climate crisis – but human activity is making the ocean hotter and more acidic, making it harder for the ocean to absorb excess carbon. To pull the world back from a climate emergency, we need to put the ocean at the heart of the climate crisis solution, and 30×30 helps us do just that.”
“Agreeing on a global target to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and ocean is a crucial step to help halt the rapid loss of biodiversity that is robbing the planet of its species, its beauty and the natural systems on which we all rely for survival,” said Brian O’Donnell, Director of the Campaign for Nature. “It is heartening to see the 30×30 goal garner so much international support. It is clear that 30×30 is fundamental to the success of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and an essential part of meeting climate goals.”
“It’s important to make the connection between nature and climate change, but if we are talking about protecting the places where most of the carbon stocks can be found, and the areas most important for biodiversity, we mustn’t overlook indigenous communities,” said Jennifer Tauli Corpuz, Managing Director of Policy, Nia Tero and International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity at the event. “We need to invest in the people who are committed to protecting their territories and their resources even at the cost of their own lives. Let us protect those who are most invested in protecting nature. Let us protect indigenous peoples.”
The global 30×30 goal has been endorsed by the G7 and is a pillar of a UN Convention on Biological Diversity agreement, known as the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, that will be finalized at COP15 in December in Montreal. The Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework is considered to be as important to the fate of the planet as the Paris climate agreement. The 30×30 land and ocean goal is supported by 112 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, nearly all of whom are members of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People. It is critical that this goal be implemented with full respect for the rights and contributions of Indigenous people and local communities.
The Bezos Earth Fund is Jeff Bezos’ $10 billion personal commitment to fund scientists, activists, NGOs and others to help drive climate and nature solutions. By allocating funds creatively, wisely, and boldly, the Bezos Earth Fund has the potential for transformative influence in this decisive decade. Funds will be fully allocated by 2030 — the date by which the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved.
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 941 cities and 173 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.66 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
The Campaign for Nature works with scientists, Indigenous Peoples, and a growing coalition of over 100 countries around the world who are calling on policymakers to commit to clear and ambitious targets to be agreed upon at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to protect at least 30% of the planet by 2030 and work with Indigenous leaders to ensure full respect for Indigenous rights. For more information please visit campaignfornature.org