UN approves nature deal to protect 30% of planet by 2030

UN approves nature deal to protect 30% of planet by 2030
A person takes part in a march during COP15, Quebec, Canada December 10, 2022, credit: Reuters/Christinne Muschi

The United Nations (UN) approved on Monday -the last day of the UN biodiversity conference (COP15) in Canada- a new nature deal that aims to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and seas by 2030.

The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework is the result of four years of work to create an agreement on global conservation efforts.

The countries attending COP15 came to an agreement around the deal’s most challenging target of protecting 30% of the world’s land and seas by 2030, a goal informally known as 30-by-30. 

Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Environment and Climate Change minister, hailed the deal as “a major win for our planet and for all of humanity, charting a new course away from the relentless destruction of habitats and species.”

The deal also requires countries to set aside $200 billion per year for biodiversity programs from both public and private sectors and demands the protection of the rights of Indigenous people as guardians of their lands. 

No goals achieved in former agreement
The nature deal, consisting of 23 targets, replaces the 2010 Aichi Biodiversity Targets intended to coordinate conservation through 2020. 

Not even one country in the world was able to achieve the Aichi targets. Every country missed all of the targets they set themselves to preserve nature and protect biodiversity, the United Nations (UN) said in 2020.

Marco Lambertini, international director of the World Wildlife Fund, said the 2022 agreement “can be undermined by slow implementation and failure to mobilize the promised resources,” adding that “it also lacks a mandatory feedback mechanism that will hold governments accountable to increase action if targets are not met.”

Scientists warned the world is possibly facing its sixth mass extinction event -the Holocene extinction– where more than 1 million species of plants and animals could go extinct by the end of the century.

Humans’ impact on the world over the last five decades has been catastrophic: since 1970, nearly 70 percent of wild animals, birds and fish have vanished.


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