MANILA, PHILIPPINES — In celebration of World Wildlife Day last March 3, the 30×30 SEA Coalition launches its official website to call for the protection of 30% of the world’s land and water forms by 2030 through the involvement of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC).
The 30×30 campaign, globally known as Campaign For Nature, is a global campaign Southeast Asian groups are adopting to urge government leaders to join the High Ambition Coalition (HAC), thereby agreeing to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and water forms during the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of Parties (COP) 15, later this year in China.
The High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC) is an intergovernmental coalition of more than 80 countries co-chaired by Costa Rica, France, and the UK championing the 30×30 goal. Cambodia is the first and currently only HAC member from the ASEAN region. Other Asian members include Japan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Maldives.
Southeast Asian Participation
Southeast Asia is a biodiversity hotspot, containing 3 of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world: Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia. In these countries, four of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots can be found. The region only comprises about 3% of the world’s land mass but accounts for 20% of the world’s flora and fauna species, 35% of global mangrove forests and 28% of coral reefs worldwide (GIZ, 2021).
However, the region is also a deforestation hotspot, losing 1.2% of forests annually, leading to severe biodiversity loss (Nanyang Technological University, 2020). The Philippines, Myanmar and Thailand are also 3 of the most consistently vulnerable countries on the planet to extreme climate events since 1999 (Eckstein, et. al, 2021), and current trends indicate we are only going to become even worse impacted with each new year.
Philippines’ Reception to 30×30
In a poll commissioned by the Malaysia-based Atri Advisory Group conducted over ten days in February, more than 1,000 Filipinos support the global target of protecting one-third of the Earth by 2030. 95% of the respondents support the global goal, while 85% want the government to also support it.
While the Philippines is a megadiverse nation and a biodiversity hotspot, it has at least 700 threatened species and is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change.
This poll is the first-ever to measure public opinion in the Philippines on the global 30×30 goal.
“This poll shows that people in the region fully appreciate the value of this biodiversity to our own development and appreciate the role we can play in preserving it,” said Tony La Viña, associate director for climate policy and international relations of Manila Observatory.
“This poll is a public mandate for the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to embrace the 30×30 global goal,” he added.
Leading up to China
After the launch, the coalition will organize more education and information campaigns with different stakeholders and form medium and long-term coalition plans and strategies, leading up to the CBD COP 15 in July 2022.
Any organization that supports the call of the coalition is welcome. Private sectors and other entities may also be a part of the coalition. Individual volunteers may contact the team for engagements. To join the coalition, visit bit.ly/30x30Partner