To maximize our chances of reversing the biodiversity crisis, there is an urgent need to establish an agreed-upon, actionable, and global roadmap for attaining the 30x30 target in the ocean (conservation and management of 30% of coastal and marine areas through "protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures" by 2030). This Issue Brief aims to propose elements for such a roadmap with recommendations for implementing the 30x30 target in the ocean.

IDDRI acknowledges the Oceano Azul Foundation for the initiative to develop this Issue brief, and for its financial support. This document is of the full responsibility of the co-authors above identified and their organizations. Its content will be discussed in dedicated meetings and workshops over the coming months, and a final version will be published by the end of 2024.

Key Messages

  • Despite decades of experience that have equipped managers, scientists, and experts with the enhanced knowledge necessary to ensure the establishment of well-designed and effectively managed MPAs, the full potential of these tools has yet to be realized. With considerable ground yet to cover to achieve the 30x30 target, the international community cannot afford to merely await a hypothetical surge in national initiatives: proactive organization is imperative.
  • To effectively and promptly contribute to the 30x30 target, States should include a national roadmap for the establishment of MPAs into their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), to be submitted by CBD COP16 in October 2024, based on the proven four-step process: (i) promoting a science-based approach; (ii) establishing participatory processes; (iii) developing a relevant legal framework; (iv) securing funding. Such a roadmap should outline specific objectives, both quantitative and qualitative, and timeframes to contribute to the implementation of Target 3.
  • States should not wait for the BBNJ treaty to enter into force but start immediately to identify potential high seas MPA sites, launch consultative processes and anticipate implementation perspectives, including through the drafting of management plans.
  • States should set up a specific mechanism to assess the implementation of the 30x30 target in the ocean to feed into the 2028 discussions at CBD COP18 and potential UNOC4, closing the gap left by the Kunming-Montreal agreement. This mechanism would enable the assessment of progress and, if necessary, adjustments to the trajectory between 2028 and 2030.
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