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50 countries pledge to conserve 30% of land and water

The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People has made a pledge to protect 30% of the land and water on Earth by 2030 to slow destruction of nature and species extinctions. The pledge was made public last Monday during the One Planet Summit in Paris.

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HAC is a coalition of more than 50 countries that was formed in 2011 to encourage internal action on the climate crisis prior to the Paris Agreement. The coalition is currently co-chaired by three countries: France, the U.K., and Costa Rica. It was formed in Durban in 2011 and has been at the forefront of encouraging international action on the climate crisis. The coalition is promoting actions against biodiversity loss and hopes that the pledge will lead to a successful conservation agreement during the Cop15 2021 summit in China.

Related: Polar bears could go extinct in 80 years if global warming persists

In their pledge, the countries have agreed to reserve at least 30% of the planet’s land and water as natural habitats. While making the announcement, HAC noted that protecting 30% of the planet by the turn of the decade is necessary to prevent mass extinction of plant and animal species.

On Monday, several world leaders met at the One Planet Summit in Paris to discuss the biodiversity crisis and promotion of archeology as well as to examine the relationship between human health and nature. The event was addressed by various world leaders, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Besides the pledge to protect 30% of the planet, several countries in the coalition also made pledges to fund nature conservation projects. The coalition has pledged to invest billions of pounds in the Great Green Wall of Africa project and the launch of the new Terra Carta by Prince Charles.

The coalition’s pledges have been applauded but also met by some criticism from various environmentalists. Many emphasized that the commitment needs to be met with actual efforts and delivery. Greenpeace U.K.’s head of politics Rebecca Newsom explained that there are also concerns about the source of funds being pledged by countries such as the U.K. Newsom argued that the funds should not be cut from budgets already allocated for other environmental projects.

“Increasing funds to protect and enhance nature is critical to help secure success at the global biodiversity conference in China this year,” Newsom said. “Siphoning off cash from funds already committed to tackling the climate crisis simply isn’t enough.”

Via The Guardian

Image via Pauline Bernfeld

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