Chesapeake Conservancy Hails COP15 Agreement to Conserve 30% of Earth’s Lands and Waters by 2030

Annapolis, MD – Today, more than 190 countries signed a historic global framework to conserve 30% of Earth’s lands and waters in order to protect the planet’s biodiversity. Currently, only about 17% of Earth’s lands and 10% of its marine areas are considered protected. The landmark agreement made at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal includes 23 “global targets for urgent action,” including raising $200 billion by 2030 and reducing up to $500 billion in subsidies and incentives harmful to biodiversity.

Chesapeake Conservancy President and CEO Joel Dunn issued the following statement:

“On behalf of Chesapeake Conservancy, I applaud the historic agreement of COP15 that establishes a global goal to conserve 30% of Earth’s lands and waters by 2030.

“For decades, scientists have studied and meticulously tracked the decline of biodiversity and species abundance in landscapes around the world. Habitat loss and fragmentation, pollution, climate change, exploitation and other impacts have driven more and more species to extinction. Scientists like the late Thomas Lovejoy have demonstrated with clear and jarring evidence the impending collapse of ecosystems and biodiversity, and they have underscored the urgent need for a global conservation effort at scales never before seen.

“The COP15 agreement is the most significant endorsement of the need to address the biodiversity crisis and set a global target of at least 30% conserved lands and waters by 2030. In efforts to address climate change, the Biden Administration has established a national goal to conserve 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.

“Achieving this global goal, and the national goal set by the Biden Administration, requires an acceleration of local conservation efforts in key landscapes. It requires governments, businesses, scientists and conservationists to partner together and collaborate like never before. Finally, getting to 30 x 30 requires high-resolution, real-time data that can give us a ‘pulse of the planet’ and help us to target efforts and resources.

“Chesapeake Conservancy and many partners are working diligently to conserve 30% of the lands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by 2030, using data and partnerships as our theory of change. With more than 23% of lands already conserved, the Chesapeake Bay watershed is a leading example demonstrating large landscape conservation to protect ecosystems and wildlife for the benefit of people and nature.”

Photo Credit: NASA