From the discussions at COP26, there needs to be an action plan laid out with the steps governments need to take towards achieving the UN’s 30 x 30 target and agreement towards delivering Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in order to save the Ocean. 

What is the 30x30 initiative?   

30x30 is a campaign to protect 30% of our Ocean by 2030. By creating a global network of marine protected areas, the campaign aims to safeguard the health and biodiversity of our Ocean and help to combat the effects of the climate crisis and marine pollution.  

What would strong protection of 30% of the Ocean by 2030 achieve?  

  • Healthier ecosystems and species that are more resilient and better able to withstand and recover from the impacts of the climate crisis  
  • Climate change mitigation through protection of coastal habitats like mangroves, seagrass beds and salt marshes that are vital for sequestering and storing carbon  
  • Reduction of Ocean risk from extreme weather events, like storm surges, through protection of coastal natural defence systems, like reefs and mangroves 
  • Healthier marine animals and greater species diversity  
  • Safe havens for threatened species like whales, sharks, rays and turtles  
  • High financial returns – an estimated economic benefit of protecting 30% of the Ocean is between US$490 to $920 billion by 2050, and would create 150,000 to 180,000 full-time jobs 

What needs to be done? 

To get Ocean conservation and more Marine Protected Areas, there needs to be limits set in place.

There are many ways of establishing these limits, from laws and regulations through to voluntary agreements and codes of conduct. When the world leaders meet in Glasgow, these discussions need to take place.

The 30 x 30 initiative is one of the best ways governments can protect our Ocean. With 9 years left on the clock, COP26 can be the alarm clock they need.  

The other Ocean focused solutions that also need to be discussed at COP26 are: 

1)Banning or reducing Bottom Trawling 

2) Investment in Blue Carbon

3) The Ocean as the Solution

4) More inclusive conversations

We've also gathered a list of the Top events you can tune into at COP26 that have an Ocean focus.