COP 15: Delegates agree to protect 30 per cent of the world by 2030 | UK News

Nearly a third of the planet will be protected by 2030 under a new deal struck at the UN’s COP15 biodiversity summit.

Delegates at the “last chance” conference, in Canada, have pledged that at least 30% of the world’s land, inland waters, coastal areas and oceans will come under conservation in the next eight years.

Currently, 17% and 10% of the world’s terrestrial and marine areas respectively are under protection.

Countries taking part in the UN biodiversity conference agreed to a total of 23 targets, including halving global food waste and slashing government subsidies that harm nature by more than £400billion-a-year by the end of the decade.

Csaba Korosi, right, 77th president of the United Nations General Assembly, speaks at the COP15 biodiversity conference. Pic: AP

It comes after a late objection from the Democratic Republic of Congo, whose delegates raised concerns about developed nations’ contributions to fund conservation in developing countries.

Delegates from the African nation had suggested that developed nations should “provide resources” to developing nations to help aid their conservation efforts.

But the deal was passed by the chair of the conference, the Chinese minister of ecology and environment, Huang Runqiu, on Monday morning.

The conference has been chaired by China, but is being held in Canada due to strict COVID-19 restrictions in the host nation.

The deal has been praised by some, including Sue Lieberman of the Wildlife Conservation Society, who said it had “really positive elements”.

But others questioned if it had gone far enough, with Tony Juniper, chair of Natural England, describing 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 sea but 30% overall.

“Also species content too weak on extinction & abundance. Calls for ambition on finance must be matched by stronger ambition for nature recovery.”

The key pledges of COP15 biodiversity summit

  • Protect 30% of the world’s lands, seas, coasts and inland waters by 2030 – especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functions
  • Halve global food waste by 2030
  • Reduce to “near zero” the loss of areas of wildlife-rich habitat
  • Reduce by 500 billion dollars (£411.7 billion) a year government subsidies that harm nature
  • Eliminate, minimize, reduce and or mitigate the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity and establishment of other known or potential invasive alien species by at least 50 per cent, by 2030

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