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World Ocean Day: Take action to protect and restore nature

Today, on World Ocean Day, the global community unites to raise awareness about ocean conservation. This year’s focus is the 30×30 goal, a worldwide initiative for governments to designate 30 percent of Earth’s land and ocean area as protected areas by 2030. 

In 2020, a comprehensive report by more than 100 economists and scientists confirmed just how valuable that the establishment of more protected areas would be for the global economy. 

The experts considered various scenarios of protecting at least 30 percent of the world’s land and ocean. The study revealed that the benefits of protected areas outweigh the costs by a ratio of at least five to one. 

In May 2019, the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services revealed that one million species are threatened with extinction. The study also showed that three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66 percent of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions.

The authors of the IPBES report said that it is not too late to conserve and restore nature, but that transformative change – such as expanding and effectively managing the current network of protected areas – will be needed. 

“Leading scientists worldwide have determined a healthy ocean is a critical part of the solution to the climate and biodiversity crises,” says the World Ocean Day network.

“By supporting 30×30, we can protect our planet’s life support systems – specifically the interconnected issues of ocean, climate, and biodiversity.  Currently, less than 17 percent of land and eight percent of the ocean worldwide is protected.”

“The good news is, due to the efforts of the growing global 30×30 movement, including those involved in the World Ocean Day network, more than 90 countries have already committed to protecting at least 30 percent of their land and ocean by 2030.”

“With your help, and by working with youth and organizational leaders worldwide, together we will continue to grow the global movement to protect at least 30 percent of our blue planet by 2030 and safeguard our future.”

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

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