The Drive to Protect 30% of the Ocean by 2030
Last Updated October 14, 2021
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This year, the 196 parties of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will meet to agree to an ambitious new plan to safeguard life on Earth by 2050. If all goes as expected, the plan will be adopted at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the CBD in Kunming, China; precisely when that meeting will happen is uncertain because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These global talks are a critical opportunity for world leaders to advance policies to halt the decline of biodiversity on our planet and ensure the long-term sustainability of Earth’s ecosystems on which human life depends. The plan would establish a "post-2020 biodiversity framework" for conserving and restoring nature that integrates many objectives included in the U.N.’s sustainable development goals and the Paris Climate Agreement, defining new milestones and targets for the preservation of nature through 2030 and beyond.

In preparation for this conservation milestone, many scientists, Indigenous peoples and community champions, nongovernmental organizations, and government leaders have called for the need to protect at least 30% percent of the ocean by 2030—a target many scientists say humanity must hit to secure the long-term health of our planet.

The call for 30% marine protection is part of securing a healthy ocean, where marine parks enhance fisheries and sound fisheries management enhances biodiversity conservation. In 2016, at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, IUCN members from 170 countries adopted Resolution 50, which supported the 30% by 2030 ocean protection target.

Since then an additional 21 countries have publicly committed to that goal, while more than 50 countries have called to protect 30% of the planet—both land and sea—and the heads of state of 82 countries and the European Union signed onto the Leaders Pledge for Nature, which details 10 urgent actions, including a robust increase in ocean protection by 2030.

Effective marine conservation can help people and nature, conserving critical marine habitat where species may thrive, and significantly boost the global economy, for example by fostering healthy and sustainable fisheries. Pew is working with partners to ensure that the international community builds on this momentum and support to establish and sustain protections to conserve biodiversity in the most important ocean environments.

Our Ocean: Protect and Conserve Our Blue Planet
Our Ocean: Protect and Conserve Our Blue Planet
Video

Our Ocean: Protect and Conserve Our Blue Planet

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Video

The ocean is vital to life on Earth. It connects and sustains us in multiple ways. And it currently faces major threats. In celebration of World Ocean Day we call on leaders around the world to protect and conserve our marine environment for humanity.

Fish swimming in the Sea of Cortez
Fish swimming in the Sea of Cortez
Speeches & Testimony

Global Support to Protect at Least 30 Percent of the Ocean

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Speeches & Testimony

In support of a growing call to protect and conserve 30% of the ocean by 2030, on Jan. 12 an informal coalition of nongovernmental and other civil society organizations shared with representatives from CBD a statement calling for a robust global biodiversity framework that will safeguard our ocean ecosystems for the long-term benefit of communities, fishers, biodiversity, and Earth’s climate.

crashing waves
crashing waves
Article

World Leaders Commit to Environmental Recovery

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Article

Worldwide, the natural environment is straining under the weight of a myriad of threats, and time is quickly running out to stem the damage before it becomes irreversible. The urgency of the situation prompted leaders from 64 countries around the world to sign a Pledge for Nature on Sept. 28.

Fish school
Fish school
Fact Sheet

The Push to Safeguard 30% of the Ocean

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Fact Sheet

In 2016, members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) called for protecting at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030 through a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) and other effective conservation measures.

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