Towards 30×30; new grant supports major progress for Protected and Conserved Areas

New funding will support seven countries to achieve rapid, meaningful, and measurable progress towards national targets and global ambitions for protected and conserved areas.

A $5 million grant from the Bezos Earth Fund to the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) announced today will catalyse support to countries from the Congo basin (Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon) and the Andes region (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru) to become global leaders in the identification, designation, management, monitoring and reporting of protected and conserved areas. 

UNEP-WCMC will convene national and international partners, including representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities to achieve three key outcomes regionally and in each country:  

  1. Identify, recognise, and map existing protected and conserved areas;  
  2. Determine priorities and targets for the designation of new protected and conserved areas; 
  3. Comprehensively monitor and report progress against national targets and contributions to global ambitions for protected and conserved areas.

Protected and conserved areas have a critical role to play in reversing the loss and degradation of nature. With generous support from the Bezos Earth Fund, this work will expand the coverage of protected and conserved areas, improve the effectiveness of their management, and ensure successful monitoring and reporting of progress against national and global targets.

Neville Ash, Director of UNEP-WCMC

This work will also enable significant advancements for the recognition of the extensive contribution of Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) and territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities, which are currently substantially under-valued and under-reported globally.

The collaborative efforts of UNEP-WCMC and partners in these seven countries will represent a globally-important contribution towards ambitions to expand protected and conserved areas to cover 30% of the planet by 2030 (so-called “30 by 30” ambition). By becoming global leaders in identifying and implementing priorities for scaling up protected and conserved areas, these seven countries can inspire further action at regional and global scales towards this ambition, as part of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which is due to be agreed in 2022 at the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) in Kunming, China. 

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