We are in a race to protect nature. The 
HAC for N&P is committed to tracking and celebrating the progress that its members make towards 30×30. Find out more about specific progress below:

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The HAC for N&P strongly supports the inclusion, participation, and partnership of Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) in global efforts to protect the planet and achieve 30×30.

Their traditional lifestyles embody the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, and we are committed to promoting Indigenous leadership in conservation. We are proud to be an official partner of the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB).

Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Progress

HAC for Nature and People Taskforce on IPLCs Narrative

1. The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature & People is campaigning to conserve 30% of the world’s marine and terrestrial areas by 2030 (‘30×30’). The HAC supports this being achieved with the inclusion, participation and partnership of Indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) whose traditional lifestyles embody the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, as well as through promoting Indigenous leadership in conservation.

2. Many countries, including HAC members, have had positive experiences working together with IPLCs on the Protected Area Systems, achieving important conservation biodiversity results while ensuring IPLC rights are safeguarded*, enabling a ‘win-win’ situation for both nature and IPLCs (case studies) taking into account international instruments and law related to human rights in accordance with national legislation.

3. The HAC is aware of concerns expressed by some IPLCs and organisations such as:

i. Lack of legal recognition of IPLCs rights and vital roles in conservation

ii. the lack of safeguards for IPLCs in target 2 language and indicators.

iii. that the implementation of the 30% target could negatively affect the rights of IPLCs on their territories (e.g. through dispossession).

iv. the potential lack of inclusion of IPLCs in area-based management and governance systems.

v. the lack of prior assessment of the social impacts and conservation effectiveness of recently created protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs).

vi. the OECM category not capturing the diversity of IPLC territories.

vii. concerns about the recognition of customary tenure and ownership of IPLC lands and water

4. The HAC for Nature & People has created a Task Force on IPLCs to listen to, and work on, IPLC concerns that conserving 30% of the planet’s land and ocean could have adverse effects for them. This is being achieved through dialogue with the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) and at a national level through dialogue with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities representatives to develop a narrative and discuss potential options for global biodiversity framework target 2 wording and indicators to help address these concerns. The goal is to ensure IPLCs are fully engaged and included in discussions on target 2, to ensure 30×30 is beneficial for both nature and IPLCs

5. As per the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystems, recognizing the knowledge, innovations, practices, institutions and values of IPLCs, and ensuring their inclusion and participation in environmental governance, often enhances their quality of life and the conservation, restoration and sustainable use / abundance of nature, which is relevant to broader society (IPBES, 2019).

6. Consistent with rights-based collaborative approaches that support and promote community-led conservation and customary sustainable use and that celebrate the mutual relations between nature and culture, traditional or contemporary stewardship and governance of lands and seas by IPLCs can often be the most effective at achieving biodiversity conservation outcomes, (Local Biodiversity Outlooks 2 (LBO2), 2020).

7. Conservation and restoration efforts have often historically infringed upon the rights of Indigenous peoples (UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues) (Indigenous Circle of Experts – ICE, 2018; A New Shared Arctic Leadership Model, 2017; Agrawal and Redford, 2009). There has been increased awareness recently of this ongoing problem in various regions of the world where IPLCs continue to be forcibly displaced and dispossessed to make way for protected areas and similar conservation areas, with these concerns particularly relevant for Indigenous women (Phillips, 2019; Nepstad et al., 2006; Schuster et al., 2019; Watson, 2018; Thekaekara, 2019). Such efforts are not good examples of equitable and effective management and would not be considered suitable under the HAC’s proposal to successfully conserve 30% of the planet’s land and ocean. For this reason, equitable and effective management is considered central to the HAC’s proposal to successfully conserve 30% of the planet’s land and 30% of the planet’s ocean.

8. Given the crucial role of IPLCs in effective and meaningful conservation that was highlighted in the IPBES report, IPLCs, including women and youth must be central partners in the development and implementation of a new spatial target. Many positive examples exist of IPLCs effectively managing their areas (e.g. LBO2,, Territories of Life 2021 report) for biodiversity, helping to create ‘win-win’ situations where both nature and IPLCs can benefit from IPLC-leadership in the management and co-management of lands and seas, further helping to build economies of scale for IPLCs.

9. The adoption of the 30×30 target in the global biodiversity framework is an opportunity to implement the commitments made under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to ensure an innovative approach to conservation that respects and lifts up Indigenous rights and responsibilities, respects the rights of humans and nature, and engages Indigenous Peoples as full partners and leaders. Moreover, by ensuring that the designation of protected areas and identification as OECMs including within the territories of IPLCs** for biodiversity conservation is undertaken with free, prior and informed consent, prior and informed consent or approval and involvement (The Mo’otz Kuxtal Voluntary Guidelines adopted at COP-13, noting that the guidelines refer to the knowledge, innovations and practices of Indigenous Peoples and local communities), the 30×30 target will emphasize the role of IPLCs as right-holders** in the establishment and management of such protected and conserved areas. This approach would enable the recognition of Indigenous peoples’ rights, and the integrity of IPLC’s territories, lands and waters in order to achieve biodiversity conservation outcomes through OECMs or by other means under CBD decision 14/8.

*(in accordance with relevant national legislations)**(in accordance with relevant national legislations and consistent with the Convention and other international obligations)

IPLC Success Stories of Conservation:

Thaidene Nëné

Announced on August 21st, 2019, Thaidene Nëné is Canada’s newest national park and protected area. Thanks to the leadership of Łutsël K’e Dene First Nation, 26,376 sq km of boreal forest, caribou grounds and clean waters in the NWT are now protected for future generations!

Thaidene Nëné is a new model of conservation, one that shows what can be achieved when Indigenous and Crown governments work as equal partners in stewardship, and will bring Canada closer to the goal to protect 17% of lands 
by 2020.

Indigenous Leadership Initiative

Indigenous Canadians, driven by a deep love for their awe-inspiring lands, have spearheaded conservation for decades. Their efforts focus on establishing Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) through community-driven processes. IPCAs, guided by indigenous law and partnerships, represent a progressive conservation model, contributing significantly to Canada’s 25% land protection goal by 2025. This indigenous-led initiative fosters a connection between people, land, and thriving cultures, inviting fellow Canadians to join in preserving the precious landscape.

Rapa Nui

Executive Director of Maute Baikawa celebrates their achievement in establishing South America’s largest multiple-use marine protected area, and he emphasizes advancing ancestral rights and environmental respect. The organization pledges support for the 30% marine conservation target, urging all nations to join for a balanced future and emphasizing humility, respect, and reciprocity for the well-being of the next generation and a shared future.

The Birriliburu Indigenous Protected Area

In April 2013, Birriliburu in Western Australia was declared an Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) under a Federal Government program, enabling Traditional Owners to manage their land as a reserve. Since that time, Bush Heritage has been fostering a partnership with the Martu people through their organisation Mungarlu Ngurrankatja Rirraunkaja (MNR) and program managers from Central Desert Land & Community.

HAC Member Progress

The HAC for N&P is proud of the progress its members have made so far in the effort toward 30×30. Below are some examples of this progress.

Australia - Roadmap to 30x30

The 2021 State of the Environment Report found that Australia’s unique animals and plants are under significant pressure. Action is needed quickly to arrest environmental decline and prevent new extinctions of plants and animals.


In July 2022 the Australian Government set a goal to protect and conserve 30 per cent of Australia’s land and 30 per cent of Australia’s marine areas by 2030. The Threatened Species Action Plan 2022-2032, released in October 2022, sets out Australia’s pathway for threatened species conservation and recovery over the next 10 years and includes the 30 by 30 target.


Achieving the 30 by 30 target will be challenging and requires collaboration across governments, First Nations partners, non-government organisations, the private sector and philanthropists. Australia’s network of terrestrial protected areas, our National Reserve System, covers around 22 per cent of our land mass, over 170 million hectares. Achieving the 30 per cent landmass target requires the protection or conservation of an additional 60 million hectares.


Australia’s national network of marine parks currently covers around 45 per cent of Australian waters. Up to 18 per cent of Australian waters are protected in ‘no take’ zones and are fully protected. In October 2022, Australia’s Environment Ministers also agreed to explore opportunities for strengthening marine protection to secure the health of our ocean in the face of climate-related changes and other emerging pressures.


The long running and highly successful Indigenous Protected Areas Program accounts for over 50 per cent of our National Reserve System and protects approximately 87 million hectares of land and 5 million hectares of sea. Building on this success, the Australian Government will invest $231.5 million over 5 years from 2023-24 to grow the program, which includes providing funding for 10 new Indigenous Protected Areas.


Next Steps

Australia’s Environment Ministers have committed to meet regularly to progress implementation of key national priorities identified at their October 2022 meeting, including the commitment to protect and conserve 30 per cent of Australia’s landmass and 30 per cent of Australia’s marine areas by 2030.


Work is underway to assess methodologies for identifying priority areas for protection and conservation. Key considerations for identifying priority regions will be ecological representativeness and connectedness, Threatened Species Action Plan priority places, nationally listed threatened species and ecological communities at most risk, and climate change resilience.


We are working to develop a national framework for Australia to recognise Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs). OECMs will complement growth in Australia’s protected areas and will be an important tool to conserve high value biodiversity areas where formal protection may not be possible. Public consultation on a framework for OECMs is due to occur in early 2023.

Currently only 6 per cent of Australia’s National Reserve System is on privately owned land. We know private landowners want to do more and we are working with stakeholders to build on successful conservation covenanting programs, address barriers and create incentives for private land conservation.


The Australian Government has committed to establishing a nature repair market to encourage new private investment in nature. This voluntary national nature repair market will deliver benefits for landholders, investors and the environment through properly rewarding the restoration and protection of biodiversity.


More information


Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Australia and their continuing connection to land and sea, waters, environment and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Custodians of the lands we live and work on, their culture, and their Elders past and present.


© Commonwealth of Australia 2022

Canada - Building conservation quality, quantity and collaboration

Canada released its national, 2020 biodiversity targets, based on the Aichi Targets, in 2015. The first of these 19 targets focused on increasing area-based conservation through the use of protected areas and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECM). At that time, Canada had protected 10.5% terrestrial and freshwater area and 0.9% marine and coastal area; numbers that had remained relatively consistent for years. Fast forward six years, with historic levels of government funding for nature, new and expanded pan-Canadian partnerships and the attention that only a measurable target can create – Canada had increased the total terrestrial and marine area protected or conserved by 76%. Canada is now at 13.5% terrestrial and 13.9% marine conserved area.

Setting the Stage for Significant Conservation Gains

Home to 25% of the earth’s wetlands and boreal forests, 20% of its freshwater, and the longest coastline in the world, Canada is a vast and varied country.

Action follows ambition – as a result Canada’s protected and conserved areas target is essential to accelerated progress. In 2016, Canada launched the Pathway to Canada Target 1 initiative. This initiative brought together Indigenous, non-government, industry and youth partners as well as national, subnational and local government partners to identify what was needed to create more area-based conservation action in Canada’s terrestrial biome.

This effort resulted in two guidance reports We Rise Together from the Indigenous Circle of Experts and Canada’s Conservation Vision from a National Advisory Panel. Following on these recommendations, a suite of aspirational, pan-Canadian commitments from national and subnational governments was released in One with Nature[1], which identified four priority areas for collaborative action to increase the quantity and quality of Canada’s protected and conserved areas network in the right ways.

  • Priority 1: Expand the system of protected and conserved areas
  • Priority 2: Promote greater recognition and support for existing Indigenous Rights, Responsibilities, and Priorities in Conservation
  • Priority 3: Maximize Conservation Outcomes
  • Priority 4: Build Support and Participation for Conservation with a Broader Community.

This collaboration led to pan-Canadian definitions for protected areas and OECMs; national guidance on Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCA) and other Indigenous-led area-based conservation action; as well as a suite of tools including a pan-Canadian Decision Support Tool to aid decision makers in identifying protected areas and OECMs. It also led to pan-Canadian attention and support for efforts such as the development of national connectivity indicators, the development of a national Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) standard, and the identification of national and global KBAs.  

A critical part to the momentum during this time, was that the Canadian government made the biggest investment in Nature in the country’s history – investments accelerated progress on protected and conserved areas. By the end of 2021, Canada was reporting 13.5% terrestrial and freshwater area and 13.9% marine area protected or conserved – including over 170 terrestrial OECMs and over 35 marine OECMs. These OECM cover 90,789 km2 of terrestrial and freshwater area and 274,555 km2 of marine and coastal area.

This was accomplished through partnership actions such as:

  • Indigenous-led conservation efforts resulting in areas such as Edéhzhíe National Wildlife Area and Dehcho Protected Area –an area of great ecological, cultural, and spiritual significance for the Dehcho and Tłichô Dene; and
  • Thaidene Nëné Indigenous Protected Area –  an Indigenous protected area that was designated by the Łutsël K’é Dene First Nation and portions of which have been designated a national park reserve, a territorial protected area, and a wildlife conservation area.
  • The recognition of OECMs such as Canadian Forces Base Shilo, which is home to 17 at-risk species including insects, grassland birds and the area’s only lizard – the Prairie Skink.
  • The designation of Marine Protected Areas such as Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area – meaning “the place where the ice never melts” in Inuktitut. Located in an area that has been used by Inuit for travel and harvesting, this culturally and historically significant marine area is considered globally, nationally and regionally unique due to the presence of multi-year pack ice.

Canadian Commitments post-2020 and Continued Action

The Government of Canada has made significant investments in nature and nature-based climate solutions to address climate change and biodiversity loss, including by setting an ambitious target to protect 25 percent of our lands and oceans by 2025, while working toward 30 percent by 2030. As a member of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People and the Global Ocean Alliance, Canada is working to build support for a 30 percent target internationally.

In 2021, the Government of Canada committed $4.1 billion to nature protection, including an additional $2.3 billion over five years for Canada’s Enhanced Nature Legacy, to continue supporting nature conservation measures across the country, including Indigenous leadership in conservation.

With many projects already advancing across the country – led nationally, sub-nationally or locally – Canada is well on its way to meeting its target.

By working in partnership, Canada and Canadians are making progress on recovering species at risk, while restoring and protecting the habitats that support Canada’s incredible biodiversity. Through actions like these, Canada is working to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 and achieve a full recovery for nature by 2050.

Canada’s approach to reaching 30% by 2030 nationally is a three-prong approach:

1.     Protecting the right amount of habitat to support viable populations of all species;

2.     Protecting the right areas so protected and conserved areas can function as a representative ecological network, not simply as “islands of green;” and

3.     Managing areas in the right way—a way that looks for cooperation across jurisdictional boundaries, and respects natural boundaries where possible

Canada sees a path to achieving this commitment through strong domestic partnerships and support that will need to include Indigenous peoples, sub-national governments, industry, environmental non-government partners and Canadians at-large.

[1] Québec is not tied to this report. Québec has taken note of the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada, but has not adhered to them because, by virtue of its responsibilities, it develops its own instruments to implement the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and to contribute to the achievement of the Aichi Targets. Québec sets its own conservation priorities and timelines on its territory, and collaborates with the federal government and the provinces and territories when deemed necessary. Québec does not participate in the Pathway to Canada Target 1 initiative, but it contributes to the pan-Canadian effort by achieving an identical target for the creation of protected areas on its territory and its inland water by 2020


France - The road to 30x30: Opportunities, Challenges and Lessons

As a member of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, France is committed to protect 30% of its marine areas and 30% of its land areas, by 2030. In order to reach its 30×30 commitment, the government launched a national strategy for protected areas at the One Planet Summit in January 2021. For the first time, we have a unified strategy for mainland France and the overseas territories that integrates land and sea issues.

The National Strategy for Protected Areas 2030 has several objectives. First, it aims to develop a network of protected areas resilient to global changes. The strong impulse given by the national Strategy has resulted in a significant increase of the surface of the French protected area. Between 2019 and 2020, 3 national reserves, a national park and 3 regional parks have been created; since 2021 there are 7 extra national reserves and 2 more regional parks. 33% of the territory is already protected and many other projects are still underway.

However, the French strategy is not just about expanding the protected area network quantitatively. It also aims to ensure that they are representative of ecosystem diversity, well managed, interconnected and adequately resourced. To meet our commitments, we are working to strengthen the level of protection, improve the management and develop the interconnection of protected areas, targeting particularly some vulnerable ecosystems: forests, wetlands and the coastline.

With these objectives, our national strategy is to create a robust and sustainable network of protected areas that are resilient to global change but also effectively and properly managed. Moreover, our protection strategy aims to restore the balance between nature conservation and human activity. It is thus a source of innovation, particularly through nature-based solutions.

Halting the collapse of marine and terrestrial biodiversity is a huge collective challenge. We have therefore identified two main keys to success:

  • First, we are conducting this strategy through and with the territories following a bottom-up process. The strategy sets general objectives that are then through territorial action plans to adapt them to local challenges. All the territories in both metropolitan and overseas France, whether regions, maritime façades or ultra-marine basins, have thus the opportunity to deploy this strategy according to their specific characteristics and challenges.
  • Therefore, our strategy relies on a multitude of players (associations, local authorities, public institutions…). They are mobilised to steer, support and monitor adequately the implementation of the strategy. Its implementation is thus facilitate by regular meetings between them, a common platform, technical tools, and a strong support from the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB). This operating mode also makes it possible to deal with the main challenges identified: find the balance between the need for monitoring and the risk of excessive administrative burden.

Example – Parc Marin de la Côte Bleue

The Parc Marin de la Côte Bleue, located on the Mediterranean coast between Marseille and Fos-sur-Mer is a protected area since 1983. A large part of the Park, both marine and terrestrial, is now classified as a Natura 2000 area under the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) and includes strong protection zones. This Park is a real success story. It demonstrates that it is possible to reconcile environmental protection and economy thanks to the active involvement of all the stakeholders.

Since its creation, fishers have especially been involved in the management and monitoring to ensure artisanal and sustainable fishing activities. This co-management, with the creation of no-take areas, led to an increase of the fish size and density and the species richness with the return of some of them. Concomitantly, the fishery performance have multiplied by seven since the creation of the reserve. The Park also conduct scientific studies and exploration work and propose various activities to make the population aware of the need to protect the environment. These results show how, thanks to a good governance, marine protected areas can ensure the protection of biodiversity while benefiting local communities and the economy.

The implementation of such protection measures requires a long dialogue and awareness raising process among stakeholders. Convincing all the coastal players to support the creation and the development of these areas is a challenge, but this is the key to success. The Parc Marin de la Côte Bleue thus perfectly illustrates that economic activities and restoration may be compatible and benefit the whole community.

Gabon - High ambition to protect and conserve 30% of its land, ocean and inland waters

Much of Gabon remains wild and remote. With more than four-fifths of the nation’s population living in urban areas, 88 percent of the country is covered with trees, home to critically endangered forest elephants. Gabon’s inland and coastal forests are so vast, they sequester 100 million tons of CO2 each year, more than the amount produced by 30 million cars, helping the world stave off climate change through the natural process of photosynthesis.

As intact ecosystems and species diversity rapidly diminish around the world, the stakes are high for conserving extensive habitats like what remain in Gabon. But long-term, durable, and effective protection can be expensive and extremely complex.

“It is very crucial for the world to acknowledge the importance of biodiversity,” says Stanislas Stephen Mouba, director general for environmental protection in the Ministry of Environment of Gabon. It is important for both the economy and for people, he says.

Much of Gabon’s economic growth has come from the export of natural resources like oil and manganese. With approximately 800,000 young Gabonese on track to enter the workforce in the next decade, the government must create new jobs and find a way to do this in balance with its ambitious environmental goals.

“We are convinced that investment in biodiversity conservation and natural capital is critical for human wellbeing,” Lee White, Gabon’s minister of water, forests, the sea and environment, told attendees at a high-level meeting on global biodiversity protection hosted by Colombia in 2021.

For example, a switch to sustainable forestry and a ban on the export of whole-log timber was a way to protect forests and create jobs. “Traditionally, we exported logs from Gabon to the rest of the world,” says White. “When you export a log, you are retaining about eight percent of the value of the wood, and so you’re gifting over 90 percent of the value added to the country that imports your log and transforms it into furniture or parquet or [other items].” Producing these finished wood products locally will keep profits in Gabon.

Payment for carbon dioxide captured by healthy forests is also bringing in funds. Last year, Gabon received the first installment of US$150 million from Norway, through the Central African Forest Initiative, in exchange for demonstrated progress in forest protection and emissions reductions. The hope is this will lead to future payment structures that compensate Gabon for its forests’ contribution to mitigating global climate change.

Gabon is part of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People and is committed to protecting and conserving 30 percent of the world’s land and ocean by 2030 (often referred to as 30×30). Gabon, however, is also one of several countries pushing for an explicit reference to freshwater protection. For a nation whose culture and landscape are shaped by its rivers, Gabon is expanding its commitment also to protect and conserve 30% of its inland waters. Therefore, protecting and conserving 30:30:30 (terrestrial, inland waters, and marine) has special significance.

“Over the last three decades, Gabon has been gradually building the laws and institutions that we need to preserve forests and ecosystems,” says White.

Gabon announced it’s the creation of 13 national parks in 2002 and established its National Parks Agency in 2007. It now has 13 national parks, a Presidential Reserve, faunal reserve and arboretum, several hunting domains and cultural sites, two World Heritage sites, nine Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, which cover a total of about 22 percent of the country. Offshore, Gabon has established 20 marine protected areas across 20,060 square miles (51,955 sq km), which represent about 26 percent of its ocean territory.

Managing these areas remains a challenge, however, due to variable protection designations and limited funds. The isolation of Gabon’s natural habitats means they are harder to access, but it also makes them harder to steward. Marine protected areas are distinctly difficult to patrol, and they are accessible to the fishing boats drawn from around the region to Gabon’s bountiful offshore ecosystems.

To help meet its ambitious protection and conservation goals, Gabon is partnering with organizations, like The Nature Conservancy (TNC), who have the expertise to advise on science-based conservation and land- and sea- use plans and the creation of transformational, lasting protection initiatives.

“Our deep experience in protected area creation and implementation,” says White, “teaches us that measuring, monitoring and protection efforts in data-poor, biodiverse countries like Gabon will require a disproportionate burden on resources—financial, technical, human and other.” Motivating the right expertise and support will be essential to success.

The national commitment of 30:30:30 will require partnership and funding on a level not seen in traditional conservation efforts. TNC is now doing the groundwork for the possible use of a series of powerful tools to facilitate durable, long-term protection. “We’re hoping to be a catalyst,” says Marie-Claire Paiz, TNC’s Gabon country director, “bringing science, expertise, partnerships and financial resources to create a new way of doing conservation, so that what we’re doing today will really remain, and we’ll see the benefits in another 10, 30, 50 years from now.”

Read the full article at

India - Other Effective Area Based Conservation Measures (OECMs)

Written By Vinod B Mathur, Ruchika Tripathi and Ruchi Pant

India is among the 17 megadiverse countries of the world. With only 2.4 % of the world’s land area, and a long coastline of about 7,517 km, India harbours 7-8 % of all recorded species, including nearly 50,000 species of plants and over 1,00,000 species of animals. The country’s economy and the livelihoods of millions of people are dependent on the conservation and sustainable use of these biological resources.

Recognizing the need to address the biodiversity and climate crises, India has made significant strides in bringing over 22% (terrestrial) and 5% (coastal and marine) area under the protected and conserved area network through the government’s efforts of establishing National Park, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserve, Community Reserves as well as through Reserved Forests.

As a member of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, India needs to extend its conservation and restoration efforts to meet their 2030 goal. Through its Nationally Determined Contributions, India is also committed to creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

Since there is limited scope of expanding the network of protected areas, India is looking at areas outside this network to contribute to the effective in-situ conservation of biodiversity and act as effective carbon sinks. To this end, Other Effective Area Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) are a new, innovative approach, where effective in-situ conservation of biodiversity is achieved mainly as a by-product of other management. OECMs operate in addition and are different from the traditionally defined/designated protected areas. They have the potential to play a major role in promoting biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration, complement existing protected areas across landscapes and seascapes, and contribute to achieving ambitious conservation and climate targets. OECMS are mentioned in the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and in the upcoming Target 3 under the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). Recognizing their conservation potential, OECMs were included in India’s National Biodiversity Target 6.

Benefits of OECMs

OECMs have the potential to contribute to ecologically representative and well-connected conservation systems, integrated within wider landscapes and seascapes, and in doing so, generate a range of benefits, such as:

  • Supporting a range of governance and management mechanisms for conservation led by stakeholders other than the Government such as the communities, local healers, community-based organisations, corporates, women and youth and co-management models.
  • Providing recognition to traditional knowledge, social practices, and cultural and spiritual beliefs, that promote effective and equitable use of biological and genetic resources. This recognition also positively impacts their sustainability.
  • Conserving important ecosystems, habitats and wildlife corridors.
  • Restoration of degraded agricultural, forest and pasture lands.
  • Supporting the recovery of threatened species.
  • Maintaining ecosystem functions and securing ecosystem services such as:
    • Rejuvenation of springs and water bodies, aquifers, and improving ground water table
    • Conservation and promotion of agro biodiversity leading to food and nutritional security.
  • Enhancing resilience against threats.
  • Retaining and connecting remnants of fragmented ecosystems within developed landscapes.
  • Promoting recreational benefits and responsible tourism.

OECMs gaining momentum in India

Since OECMs are a part of global and national biodiversity related targets and commitments, the Government of India is keenly pursuing the OECM mechanism to expand India’s biodiversity conservation and eco-restoration agenda.

The Government of India (GoI)with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has developed a 14-category classification. A wide variety of sites in India have the potential to become OECMs. Based on a number of ecological and social characteristics, they can be terrestrial, waterbodies, and marine, including sacred groves, unique agricultural systems, biodiversity parks, industrial estates, coastal waterbodies, and important marine biodiversity areas. In terms of management structure, potential OECMs in India can be government managed, community managed, privately managed, and co-managed.

he Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, National Biodiversity Authority of India and UNDP-India along with other partners are in the process of identifying, mapping and documenting OECMs in India, many of which have been identified through GoI-UNDP’s existing database of ecosystem-based solutions and India Biodiversity Awards. Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Haryana, was officially recognised as India’s first OECM site on World Wetlands Day 2022.

Examples of Potential OECMs in India

Below are a few examples of OECMs from India, highlighting the involvement of community, cooperative and corporates in their ownership and/or management.

Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Haryana

The Aravalli Biodiversity Park is located at the Delhi-Gurugram border and covers an approximate area of 392 acres. In 2010, an NGO formed by concerned citizens, IamGurgaon (IAG), initiated the ecological restoration of the highly scarred and denuded patches of an abandoned mining site within the Aravalli range, by developing it into a Biodiversity Park. With the generous engagement of corporates, more than 50 schools, thousands of children and citizens, about 1,45,000 plants of over 200 species have been planted in the park. In 10 years the area has been transformed into a lush green forest through the concerted efforts of the citizens and the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG). While the park is owned by the State and is governed by the MCG, the day-to-day management of the park was looked after by IAG until 2020. In 2021, MCG formally handed over the conservation and restoration work of the park to Hero MotoCorp for the next decade. With over 400 species of native plants species, it is envisioned as a pristine habitat for birds and wild animals of the Northern Aravalli.

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Saffron Heritage System, Kashmir

Saffron is a spice derived from the flower Crocus sativus and mainly used as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. At US$ 5 000 per kg or higher, saffron has long been the world’s most expensive spice by weight. The centuries-old saffron farming practice in and around the Pampore Karewas of Kashmir continues to inspire family farmers and local communities and provides for more than 17,000 families. Pampore has earned the title of Kashmir’s “saffron town” for growing the best quality saffron. The Kashmiri village women contribute to this agriculture heritage site through traditional tilling to flower picking over 3,200 hectares dedicated to the legendary saffron crop cultivation.

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Apatani Landscape, Arunachal Pradesh

The Apatani landscape represents an agrosystem collectively practised by the Apatani tribe in the Ziro valley of Arunachal Pradesh. The Apatani in the Ziro valley have developed systematic landuse practices based on rich traditional ecological knowledge, which has been acquired over centuries of managing their natural resources, including their agricultural lands. Such agricultural landscapes which are developed over centuries, combine rich biological diversity with human ingenuity to provide local livelihoods and nutrition. The tribe has the unique paddy-cum-pisciculture, comprising a composite of rice cultivation along with fish culture. The agro-ecosystem of the Apatani provides for the in-situ conservation of sixteen traditional paddy varieties of unique grain characteristics and nutrition values.

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Coromandel Birds Paradise, Andhra Pradesh

Coromandel International Limited, one of the largest manufacturers of complex fertilizers in Andhra Pradesh, has maintained this wetland (1.2 km² greenbelt, 0.4 km² water bodies) in one of its manufacturing units in the coastal city of Kakinada. The area is governed by Coromandel International Limited and managed by the company’s Biodiversity Committee. The conservation efforts have transformed the area into a thriving bird habitat for resident as well as migratory birds from across the globe. Nearly 97 bird species have been recorded so far including 24 migratory species such as the black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) and curlew sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) which have been included in Appendix II of the CMS and are listed as Near Threatened under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Save Animals Initiative (SAI), Karnataka

Set at the foothills of the Brahmagiri range, near Kodagu, SAI Sanctuary is India’s first private sanctuary. The sanctuary was established in 1992 with the primary objective of protecting the biodiversity found within the area. Prior to rewilding, the vast coffee and cardamom plantations in Kodagu had been rendered barren because of decades of destructive farming practices and deforestation for construction and development. Now, the initial 0.2 km² sanctuary spreads across 1.21 km² and houses a rich variety of indigenous floral and faunal species. The rewilding also saw the return of the Eurasian River Otter after hundred years.

Jagatpur Wetland, Bihar

The Jagatpur wetland, falling in Bhagalpur district, Bihar is a small perennial waterbody, spreading over an area of 0.4 km2. It is one of the best birding sites in Bihar in the Gangetic floodplains as it supports many threatened species, including the endangered greater adjutant stork. The wetland is mainly rain-fed, but underground seepage also contributes to its volume of water. The site is protected by local communities. A local NGO – Mandar Nature Club (MNC) and the forest department facilitate its conservation and management.

The Road Ahead

There are multiple challenges to the OECM process foremost being inadequate awareness about their importance and role in conservation of biodiversity, regulation of climate and restoration of degraded lands besides providing opportunities for livelihood generation and participatory biodiversity governance. Initiatives at the global, regional, national and sub-national levels backed by adequate resource mobilization are needed to make OECM process a means to achieve the ambitious 30 by 30 global goal. The Indian experience of categorization of OECMs for identification and designation of additional spaces required to expand the protected and conserved area estate needs to be upscaled and replicated by the CBD Parties to achieve the ambitious 30 by 30 goal of HAC for planet and people.

For more information, visit:

* Former Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority of India

** Project Associate, Environment, Energy and Resilience Unit, UNDP India

*** Head, Climate Change, Resilience, Biodiversity and Chemicals Management, UNdp India

Japan - Involving a broader range of stakeholders in biodiversity conservation through OECMs

A concrete roadmap to draw our path to achievement

This roadmap outlines Japan’s main actions to achieve the 30by30 target:

  • Expanding protected areas and improving the quality of their management,
  • Establishing and managing Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs, for further details, see II.),
  • Visualizing the importance of biodiversity and the effectiveness of the conservation activities.

In addition, building on the achievement of the 30by30 target, the roadmap describes Nature-based Solutions that can solve various social issues by utilizing a healthy natural environment, including:

  • Promoting wildlife protection and control through land management.
  • Enhancing carbon storage by forests and seaweed beds.
  • Fostering Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) in the face of more devastating damage that can be caused by climate change.

Exploring OECMs – balancing overlapping land uses

We believe it is important for their promotion that OECMs be an easy-to-communicate and flexible mechanism that takes into account Japan’s natural environment and land use.

Areas that qualify for consideration as OECMs can be under the management of private sectors aiming at conserving biodiversity, such as national trust, bird sanctuary and biotope. Other areas where biodiversity has been eventually conserved through various kind of management can also be considered as OECMs. This includes forests for the conservation of water resources owned by companies, Satoyama landscapes (inc. paddy fields), areas where forestry operation is being carried out for their maintenance, green spaces in company-owned and urban areas, forests for research and environmental education, areas for disaster risk reduction, and seagrass beds and tidal flats, among others are applicable to OECMs.

Japan aims to achieve the 30by30 target mainly through the use of the OECMs mechanism. For this reason, MOE -Japan is now preparing a scheme to certify sites where biodiversity conservation is being promoted through private-sector initiatives and to register them as OECMs. MOE -Japan will officially launch the scheme in 2023, with the goal to certify at least 100 sites by the end of 2023. In order to do so, a trial scheme to certify conserved sites is being implemented this year (2022). For the first half the trial, 23 sites have already been certified this past summer and the remaining 33 sites are now under evaluation for the second half.

The criteria for the certification has been created with reference to Annex III of the COP decision 14/8, ‘Scientific and technical advice on Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures’ and the relevant IUCN guidelines, ‘Site-level methodology for identifying other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs)’ [IUCN, 2020], as well as advices from expertise at working groups. The criteria is composed of four parts; the first part is the one for boundary and name, the second is for governance and management, the third is the value of biodiversity conservation and the fourth is for the contribution to conservation.

Regarding OECMs in marine areas, it is effective to choose areas, following the scientific consideration process taking into account ‘Ecologically or Biologically Significant marine Areas identified by Japan’. In addition, important measures to increase the value of OECMs can be considered, such as developing a brand strategy for marine products from certified OECM areas, and the viewpoint of how activities on land have effect on marine areas. Moreover, in terms of appropriate management and monitoring, it is also effective to interface between the conservation of biodiversity and the use and management of the existing marine areas. In light of those points, the concept of OECMs in marine area is defined as ‘areas where the multifaceted use of – and the conservation of biodiversity can go hand in hand through the implementation of effective management and monitoring with coordination with various entities’. Taking into account this concept, Japan will consider for OECM certification areas where sustainable industrial activities have contributed to the conservation of biodiversity regardless of their objectives.

30by30 is about engaging various people!

To achieve the 30by30 target, it is needed to promote OECMs among all of society, in addition to expanding protected areas. With this in mind, Japan launched the “30by30 Alliance for Biodiversity” to develop an “all Japan” multi-stakeholder platform that includes businesses, local governments and NGOs.

Participants will register their efforts with the Secretariat, efforts to pursue certifying their lands as OECMs and expanding protected areas within their lands for land-owners, and efforts to support the 30×30 target for other members.

Moreover, a trial scheme to certify conserved areas that is being implemented. This trial has received a great deal of cooperation from the Alliance’s participating companies. As a next step, we are planning to add another function to match site owners or managers with those who want to support them in management.

Japan regards the 30by30 target as having the potential to play key role in mainstreaming biodiversity. This goal will be achieved through the engagement of a broad range of stakeholders and by placing emphasis not only on quantitative achievement, but also on developing a process combining the forces of regions, businesses, and each and everyone in the whole nation.

Currently, approximately 20.5% of the land and 13.3% of the sea in Japan is designated as protected areas, such as national parks. In April 2020, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) – Japan, with the help of relevant ministries, established a ‘30by30 roadmap’ to outline necessary actions to achieve the 30by30 target in Japan. To firmly establish this roadmap as Japan’s policy, it will be incorporated it into our upcoming National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plan (NBSAP), expected in the spring of 2023.

Read more:

Japan’s 30by30 Roadmap


Peru - Transformational Action Implemented

Peru is one of the countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world. One of the main characteristics of the Peruvian sea is its high productivity originating from a system of permanent coastal upwelling, which sustains an important biodiversity and biomass of marine resources.

In this context, the State, through the Ministry of Environment (Ministerio del Ambiente, MINAM) constantly promotes the sustainable use of marine biodiversity and through the National Service of Natural Areas Protected by the State (Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado , SERNANP), promotes the management and creation of new natural protected areas, especially those in the marine area.

In 2019, MINAM created a multisectoral working group[1] in charge of compiling, analyzing and systematizing the technical-scientific information and the rights involved, in order to support the establishment of a National Reserve to conserve the Nazca Ridge seamount ecosystem.

The elaboration of the proposal for the Nazca Ridge National Reserve (Reserva Nacional Dorsal de Nasca, RNDN) is the result of more than two years of consensual and transparent work by the Multisectoral Working Group. Likewise, a broad process of citizen participation was carried out with artisanal fishermen’s associations, industrial-scale fishing associations, regional governments, civil society organizations and academia.

Supreme Decree N° 008-2021-MINAM created the Dorsal de Nasca National Reserve, which has an area of 62,392.0575 km2, located 57 nautical miles (105.56 km) off the coast of the department of Ica, with the objective of conserving a representative sample of the marine ecosystems associated with the Nazca Ridge area within the Peruvian Maritime Domain, contributing to the conservation of national biodiversity and increasing the representativeness of the National System of Natural Areas Protected by the State (SINANPE).

The RNDN is the first 100% marine protected area in Peru, allowing among others:

  • To conserve approximately 8% of our marine surface and part of the Nazca Ridge seamount chain, which crosses almost the entire South Pacific,
  • To conserve a representative sample of the marine ecosystem of submarine mountains and promote the sustainable use of fishing resources,
  • To provide a space to develop scientific research and expand knowledge about the species and living conditions in the seabed,
  • To contribute significantly to the global goals of percentage of Marine Protected Areas.
  •  To allow the development of exploitation activities within the framework of respect for pre-existing rights and in harmony with the objectives of the protected area, as indicated in the national regulatory framework of Natural Protected Areas.

Synthesis of the Technical File of the Proposed Nazca Ridge National Reserve (RNDN)

Objective: To conserve a representative sample of marine ecosystems associated with the Nazca Ridge area located within the Peruvian Maritime Domain, thus contributing to the conservation of national biodiversity and increasing the representativeness of SINANPE, and coexisting with other economic and productive activities that comply with current regulations and the binding opinion of SERNANP.

The area of the proposed RNDN has an area of 62,392.0575 km2, which represents 7.06% of the Peruvian Maritime Domain (consider that according to DICAPI the Peruvian Maritime Domain is 855,475. 1096 km2, the same data is found in the statement of reasons that approves the National Maritime Policy-DS 012-2019-DE, with this data the percentage that represents the area of the RNDN is 7.29% of the maritime domain); being 3 times larger than the area of the department of Ica, and the same size as the department of Arequipa.

Currently there is 0.5% PNA coverage in the marine zone, adding to this the RNDN (7.3%), it could reach a percentage of PNA coverage in the marine area of 7.8% of the maritime domain.

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