The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, consisting of more than 50 countries, has committed to protecting 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030 to halt the destruction of the natural world and slow extinctions of wildlife.
What is Happening?
- The HAC includes the UK and countries from six continents, and made the pledge to protect at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and oceans before the One Planet summit in Paris earlier this month, hosted by the French president, Emmanuel Macron.
- In making the announcement, the HAC said that protecting at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans for nature was crucial to preventing mass extinctions of plants and animals.
- Other pledges made at the summit include the investment of billions of pounds in the Great Green Wall in Africa and the launch of a new sustainable finance charter called the Terra Carter by Prince Charles.
- Scientists have warned that human activities are driving the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth and agricultural production, mining, and pollution are threatening the healthy functioning of life-sustaining ecosystems crucial to human civilisation.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, cautioned, “It is one thing to commit, but quite different to deliver. But when we have committed, we must deliver. And with concerted efforts, we can collectively deliver.”
- While many countries supported the 30% pledge, many Indigenous activists have said that increasing protected areas for nature could result in land grabs and human rights violations. At the same time, some developing countries are keen to invest in finance and sustainable development, not just conservation.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “We are destroying species and habitat at an absolutely unconscionable rate. Of all the mammals in the world, I think I am right in saying that 96 percent of mammals are now human beings or livestock that human beings rely upon.”
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- The HAC, currently co-chaired by France, Costa Rica and the UK, was formed in 2019, following the success of a similar climate body that spurred ambitious international action before the Paris Agreement.