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The Philippines kicked off its first-ever workshop to launch the national rollout of the new global 30x30 target, to protect and conserve at least 30 percent of the world’s land, fresh water and sea by 2030.
Approximately 150 leaders from across the country gathered during three days in Manila this week. Hosted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the attendees began charting the course for the Philippines to achieve 30x30 through a combination of potential new Marine Protected Areas and other Effective Areas-based Conservation Measures (OECM), including Ancestrail territories.
The global 30x30 target is part of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework adopted by consensus at the Convention on Biological Diversity 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP15) in Montreal in December 2022. Following CoP15, WCS teams across the globe have been working with communities, governments, and intergovernmental agreements and organizations, to develop and implement Global Biodiversity Framework strategies and action plans.
Said Kate Lim, Country Director of the WCS Philippine Program: “This historic occasion celebrates the cooperation between government, funding institutions, development and conservation partners that were essential to the success of the 30x30 launch in the Philippines. WCS commits to steadfastly supporting the country's initiatives to better manage and safeguard high integrity ecosystems, and critical species and their ecosystems. We emphasize our strong support for acknowledging the rights and roles of Indigenous peoples and local communities in equitable and socio-culturally sensitive implementation of the goals and targets, which are in line with our climate and biodiversity targets.”
Added Martin Callow, WCS Regional Director, Southeast Asian Archipelago: “The Philippines is setting a great example for Southeast Asia with its roadmap to implement 30x30. With the interlinked biodiversity and climate crises more pronounced than ever, particularly in this biodiversity-rich yet vulnerable region, WCS is committed to supporting the Philippines as it maximizes the co-benefits from its 30x30 roadmap.”
A party to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and a strong supporter of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF), the Philippines has committed to safeguarding terrestrial and marine protected areas (MPAs) in the country under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) by 2030.
Through a series of talks and plenary sessions facilitated by key government, environment, and community leaders from all over the country, the 30x30 Philippines National Workshop and High-Level Launch takes on a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to ensure the success of the KMGBF and help achieve the country’s biodiversity and climate targets.
The organizations set to lead the 30x30 launch in the Philippines include: The DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB), together with WCS through the 30x30 Ocean Accelerator Grant; the Embassy of the United Kingdom; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the GEF GBF Early Action Support and Biodiversity Corridor projects; the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO; Forest Foundation of the Philippines; USAID Inspire Project; Centre for Sustainability PH; Save Philippine Seas; Parabukas; and the Oceans 5-MSN 30x30 Consortium composed of the Marine Environment and Resources Foundation, Rare, Oceana, Conservation International Philippines, World Wildlife Fund Philippines.
"The Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP) is a plan not only for the DENR but the whole government and the whole of nation. Mainstreaming biodiversity across sectors is a very important factor for 30x30,” said Armida Andres, Assistant Director, in concurrent capacity as the Chief, Coastal and Marine Division of DENR-BMB. Jhorace Engay-Tupas, In-charge of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Section, Coastal and Marine Division of DENR-BMB added, “The Philippines’ initial 30x30 goal is ambitious, but we know that it can be done. Other effective area-based conservation measures hold great potential for us to actually achieve 30% in the Philippines, if not more."
WCS Asia Programme Senior Adviser and IUCN Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Madhu Rao, said: “We only have six years left to reach the target of conserving 30 percent of the Earth. It is an ambitious goal that must be attained effectively and equitably. The Philippines is taking the right step toward high quality implementation of Target 3 through its leadership, leveraging the commitment of a broad group of actors and advancing a comprehensive and inclusive implementation agenda.”
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