WRI, GEF to host Secretariat to preserve world’s 30% land, ocean by 2030

Since its inception, the HAC has increased political ambition toward halting the accelerating loss of species and protecting vital ecosystems that are the source of the world's economic security.

Montreal: The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People has announced the formation of a new permanent Secretariat to be co-hosted by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Officially launched at the One Planet Summit in Paris in 2021, the coalition is an intergovernmental group of 116 countries co-chaired by Costa Rica and France and by the UK as Ocean co-chair.

Under the new Secretariat, the coalition will lead a historic effort to protect and conserve at least 30 per cent of the world’s land and ocean by the year 2030 (“30×30”).

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At present, protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) cover nearly 17 per cent of all land and slightly more than eight per cent of the ocean.

With the formal agreement at COP15 to protect and conserve 30 per cent of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030, the world now needs to double its land protections and more than quadruple current ocean protections by the end of the decade.

As the coalition prepares to embark on its second phase, the Secretariat will sustain political engagement and commitment to the 30×30 target; support capacity building and knowledge sharing for country implementation; and map, match, and mobilise financial resources and technical assistance to support country implementation efforts.

“To protect at least 30 per cent of the planet’s land and 30 per cent 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 work all together to reach this goal,” said Christophe Bechu, French Minister of State in charge of Ecology.

“The coalition will assume a key role in the implementation of the ’30×30′ target. This is the commitment of our 116 countries and the minimum required scientific measure to stop the loss of biodiversity and climate change,” said Franz Tattenbach, Costa Rica Minister of Environment and Energy.

“The support and commitment of the GEF and WRI, as co-hosts of our coalition in this implementation phase, will contribute to increase and maintain the political momentum around the protection of 30 per cent of the land and oceans, as well as to carry out activities to support the countries in achieving this global target.”

“It’s 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, and we are so grateful that we will have the support, knowledge and experience of the GEF and WRI as hosts, as well as the amazing support from philanthropies and member countries,” said Lord Goldsmith, UK Minister for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Since its inception, the HAC has increased political ambition toward halting the accelerating loss of species and protecting vital ecosystems that are the source of the world’s economic security.

As the coalition moves into its implementation phase, it will continue to support countries in establishing and managing new protected or conserved areas, as well as other effective conservation measures.

The coalition is also committed to continuing its support for the inclusion, participation and partnership of indigenous people and local communities, including the promotion of their leadership in conservation. Their traditional lifestyles embody the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

“The direction of travel begun by the High Ambition Coalition is absolutely the correct one and I am so pleased to see more countries chart their pathway to meet these crucial goals. The Global Environment Facility is delighted to co-host the coalition Secretariat and support its continued growth in pursuit of meaningful change for the world’s wildlife and wild spaces,” said GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodriguez.

“In Montreal, world leaders took the ambitious step of recognising that we must conserve 30 per cent of land and ocean this decade to stem the biodiversity and climate crises,” said Ani Dasgupta, President and CEO, World Resources Institute.

(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)

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