Jamaica is among over a
dozen Caribbean nations, including Grenada, and Antigua & Barbuda which
have joined a progressive group of nations across the globe that are determined
to protect 30% of the planet’s ocean and land resources by 2030.
The 30x30 target which is
supported by science, is being advanced by the High Ambition Coalition for
Nature & People (HAC), in a bid to fight the triple threats of biodiversity
loss, environmental degradation and climate change.
In a release, the HAC
noted that the Caribbean is no stranger to these issues and has shown ambition
in advancing climate solutions and advocating for high biodiversity protection
targets. It noted that through its
support of the 30x30 target, the Caribbean region continues to showcase its
leadership to the globe.
The release further noted
that globally, only 7% of oceans and 15% of land are designated as
“In order to meet the
goal, the HAC has been gathering pledges from global governments ahead of
signing the major biodiversity treaty in Geneva in April. The Coalition is
co-chaired by Costa Rica and France, with the United Kingdom named as the Ocean
co-chair. So far, over 85 nations have indicated their commitment to the
science-backed 30x30 target including the United States, Canada, the Marshall
Islands, the Maldives, and several of the European Union’s member states”, the
Discussing the importance
of the global 30x30 target for Caribbean nations with the HAC, Minister without
Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon.
Matthew Samuda noted that protecting the unique biodiversity of the Caribbean
region is paramount.
“We are a product of our
environment - protecting our reefs, forests, coastal areas and other green
spaces ensure that we are protecting ourselves as well as future generations.
The latest IPCC report is clear, we must act now to mitigate the worst impacts
of climate change, and the HAC 30x30 target provides us with a pathway towards
doing just that. Jamaica, and the
Caribbean region as a whole, have advanced innovative sustainable solutions. We
must lead as models of resilience and climate action, and by taking part in the
30x30 goal, we are leading by example and showcasing what the Caribbean can achieve” Minister Samuda
The 30x30 goal is part of
a larger sustainable development movement that includes the Global Ocean
Alliance (GOA), a programme that specifically targets the creation of new
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
countries have already sealed their commitment to the GOA. However, the HAC notes that given the
important connection between land and sea in the region, ensuring that land
resources are simultaneously protected is just as crucial.
The HAC has identified
terrestrial protection as an important and undervalued conservation target.
“The protection of 30% of
the planet would generate several benefits, including:
● Safeguarding 500
gigatonnes of carbon stored in vegetation and soils
● Reducing the risk of
zoonotic disease outbreaks like COVID-19
● Supporting 30 million
jobs and $500b of GDP in ecotourism and sustainable fisheries
● Restoring depleted
fishing grounds and fish populations by 600% and
● Increasing food
security and improving local economies”
Minister Samuda is
currently in Nairobi, Kenya where he attended the United Nations Environment
Assembly (UNEA), and the special session to commemorate the 50th anniversary of
the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP@50).