Ocean groups reacted with relief to the announcement from CBD COP15 that states have committed to a target of 30% protection by 2030 (30×30) of land and sea as part of the new Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) that was just adopted in Montreal.
Following serious concerns that commitments relating to the ocean would be weaker than for terrestrial, Target 3 in the final outcome does include at least 30% protection of the marine realm. It also clearly highlights the need to respect the rights, roles, knowledge and territories of Indigenous peoples and local communities in achieving this 30×30 target.
Ocean biodiversity is our greatest ally against climate change, it is vital that it is afforded at least 30% protection and recognised for its role in making the Earth habitable. Now the real hard work starts, implementing this target on the water.
To achieve 30% protection of the ocean will also require the completion of the High Seas Treaty which has been under negotiation at the UN and delayed until February 2023. Nathalie Rey of the High Seas Alliance said,
We have this global commitment to protect the ocean, now we need the High Seas Treaty to enable us to enact it in protecting two thirds of the ocean that make up the High Seas. States must bring this wave of action to completing a robust and strong Treaty at the resumed negotiations in February.
Jennifer Josehans of SeaBlue Canada which began the #OceanInTheRoom campaign added:
We welcome this historical agreement, particularly the acknowledgment of Indigenous rights and commitment to 30% protection of our ocean by 2030. Let us take this shared momentum and ensure quality and equitable protection on the ground. The countdown to 2030 starts today.
We welcome the new Global #Biodiversity Framework and #30×30 after urging delegates to represent the #OceanInTheRoom.— OneOcean (@OceanFlotilla) December 19, 2022
“Ocean biodiversity is our greatest ally against #ClimateChange, it's vital that it is afforded at least 30% protection." @mvonlind https://t.co/Wk1majMjUs #COP15 pic.twitter.com/JoLo45licV