IUCN World Conservation Congress Overwhelmingly Supports Motion to Protect at Least 30% of the Planet by 2030

Marseille, France (10 September 2021)

by Georg Schwede

Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature meeting in France for the World Conservation Congress approved on Friday, 10 September, a much-anticipated motion to protect at least 30% of land and ocean by 2030, known as 30×30. Motion 101 calls on IUCN members to support:

  • recognition of “the evolving science, the majority of which supports protecting, conserving and restoring at least half or more of the planet is likely necessary to reverse biodiversity loss, address climate change and as a foundation for sustainably managing the whole planet.”
  • at a minimum, a target of effectively and equitably protecting and conserving at least 30% of terrestrial areas and of inland waters … and of coastal and marine areas, respectively, with a focus on sites of particular importance for biodiversity, in well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) by 2030 in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.”
  • “the full and effective participation of indigenous peoples and work towards the implementation of all protection, conservation and restoration activities with the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous peoples, and with appropriate recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands, territories and resources, as set out under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), and full respect for their diverse knowledge systems.”
  • the full and effective participation of local communities in the protection, conservation and restoration activities, with the recognition of customary and local governance practices as appropriate, along with their diverse knowledge system.”

Later on Friday, the Marseille manifesto capturing a limited number of key outcomes and messages from the congress that are globally relevant explicitly implores governments to set ambitious protected area and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECM) targets by calling for at least 30% of the planet to be protected by 2030. 

Though unbinding, the motion and the manifesto send a strong signal to the world that the UN biodiversity treaty–expected to be signed in Kunming, China, in April 2021–will include a pledge to protect 30×30. The draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework already calls to protect 30×30.

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