Ocean Protection Initiative Gains Momentum

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Ocean Protection Initiative Gains Momentum
The global Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) advocates a “30×30” goal to protect 30% of the planet’s ocean and lands by 2030. Within the U.S., there is growing interest to support this goal from many conservation organizations, some federal agencies and states, and even certain members of Congress who have introduced resolutions in support of the goal. The goal gained momentum through a resolution at the 2016 World Conservation Congress in Hawaii, and is included in the draft of the CBD’s Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework, which is scheduled to be adopted by parties to the Convention in October 2021. The Global Ocean Alliance, a group of 35 countries led by the UK, is advocating for adoption of the goal. The 30×30 goal was also included in Climate21, a transition document developed by external experts for the new Administration. The level of protection that would be needed for areas to count toward the goal is still under discussion. The MPA Center’s MPAs 2020 report highlights U.S. progress in establishing effective MPA networks, with current MPA coverage at 26% of our waters.
Two States — Hawaii and California — are already implementing their own plans for 30×30 initiatives. In December, Hawaii released its nearshore strategic plan,  Holomua: Marine 30×30, which encourages participation of community members, local, state and federal government agencies, and other stakeholders to help usher in a new era of place-based adaptive management that is scientifically and culturally-informed. In California, Governor Newsom issued an executive order establishing the California Biodiversity Collaborative.  The executive order calls for the conservation of 30% of the state’s lands and waters by 2030 in a manner that preserves biodiversity and natural resources, expands equitable outdoor lands and recreation for all Californians, and maintains the state’s economic prosperity.