Right now, 17% and 10%, respectively, of the world’s terrestrial and marine areas are protected, as reported by Sky News.
A new agreement reached the COP15 biodiversity summit of the UN will see nearly a third of the globe protected by 2030.
At least 30% of the world’s land, inland waters, coastal regions, and seas will be protected in the next eight years, delegates to the “last chance” meeting in Canada have promised.
Tropical rainforests and other sites deemed crucial for biodiversity will receive extra consideration as part of the plan.
Currently, 17% and 10%, respectively, of the terrestrial and marine areas of the world are protected.
At the UN biodiversity conference, participating nations agreed to a total of 23 commitments, including halving global food waste and reducing or eliminating more than £400 billion in annual government subsidies that affect the environment by the end of the decade.
It follows a last-minute protest from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, whose representatives voiced worries about developed countries’ financial support for environmental protection in underdeveloped states.
African delegates had proposed that wealthy countries “give resources” to underdeveloped countries in order to support their conservation efforts.
However, the agreement was approved on Monday morning by the conference’s chair, Huang Runqiu, China’s minister of ecology and environment.
Due to tight COVID-19 restrictions in the host country, the conference is being held in Canada even though China is serving as the conference chair.
The deal has been praised by some, including Sue Lieberman of the Wildlife Conservation Society, who said it had “really positive elements”, while The Green Party welcomed the agreement, but warned the UK government and others must now “step up to the plate to make the promises a reality”.
But others questioned if it had gone far enough. Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, described the deal as “too weak”.
He tweeted: “End game in Montreal, but plans too weak, including 30% target, which now not 30% protected on land & 30% on the sea but 30% overall.”
“Also species content too weak on extinction & abundance. Calls for ambition on finance must be matched by stronger ambition for natural recovery.”
Meanwhile, Will McCallum, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK said: “Governments like the UK who fought hard for stronger language within the 30×30 target must channel any frustration with the outcome into leading by example.”
“We need to see properly protected ocean sanctuaries, and large swathes of land managed for nature, to show the world that restoring biodiversity unlocks jobs in rural and remote areas, keeps our food system resilient and makes sure we are all more able to withstand the impacts that climate change is already having.”
Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International, added: “Agreeing on a shared global goal that will guide collective and immediate action to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 is an exceptional feat for those that have been negotiating the Global Biodiversity Framework, and a win for people and planet.”
“It sends a clear signal and must be the launch pad for action from governments, business and society to transition towards a nature-positive world, in support of climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
He said the agreement represented “a major milestone for the conservation of our natural world”, but warned the deal could be “undermined by slow implementation and failure to mobilize the promised resources”.
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Source: Sky News