October 15, 2020 – Today, Costa Rica and France as co-chairs of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People convened a Ministerial meeting to maintain the momentum and draw the roadmap for the year 2021 with the more than 34 governments that have joined the coalition. This meeting follows the United Nations Biodiversity Summit, celebrated on September 30th, where more than 146 Governments participated at the highest political level.

During the meeting, ministers and high-level representatives of the HAC for Nature and People agreed on a roadmap to garner support worldwide for the target to protect at least 30% of land and oceans by 2030 and to achieve an ambitious deal during the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Kunming, China in 2021.

This plan includes the official launch of the HAC for Nature and People in January during the One Planet summit and ministerial meetings throughout 2021 at key events such as the Open-Ended Working Group 3 (OEWG) in Colombia, the IUCN World Congress and the United Nations General Assembly amongst others.

Furthermore, the members of the HAC for Nature and People reiterated that the goal to protect 30% of the planet should not be seen as a quantitative goal. The qualitative aspects of the 30% protection are critical to its effectiveness in curbing biodiversity loss.

The Minister of Costa Rica Ms. Andrea Meza expressed :

“In order for the 30% protection goal to achieve long-term biodiversity outcomes, we need to ensure the effective management and governance of these areas, adequate public and private resources are allocated, and partnership with indigenous people, amongst other elements”.

Secretary of State for Biodiversity of France Ms. Abba said :

“These moments are opportunities to take stock of the progress made, and show a united front underlying a collective high-level engagement supporting the 30% target”.

The ministers highlighted the importance of the 30% target to galvanize ambition in the negotiations towards a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

This urgent push for the science-based 30% target stems from an accelerating awareness that the climate emergency, the extinction crisis, and the current public health crisis are interconnected.

Protecting more nature could be one of our best chances to both sequester carbon, save threatened species and prevent future pandemics.

The aftermath of the crisis of covid-19 , governments have a choice between two paths: either to push environmental issues to the background or to pinpoint them, to focus on the benefits of nature and find opportunities to raise collective ambition. Members of the HAC for Nature and People are committed to collective political responsibility and engagement to make sure that the second path prevails.

The meeting was co-chaired by Costa Rica and France and attended by Ministers and High Level Representatives from Botswana, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, European Commission, Gabon, Greece, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates , United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.