Blog Post

Top Leaders Endorse the Goal to Protect  30% of the Planet by 2030

PM Johnson, UN Secretary-General Guterres, EVP Timmermans, Canadian Minister Wilkinson, Christiana Figueres, and HRH Prince Charles all announce support for the target

PM Johnson, UN Secretary-General Guterres, EVP Timmermans, Canadian Minister Wilkinson, Christiana Figueres, and HRH Prince Charles all announce support for the target

NEW YORK, NY. September 28, 2020: Today, key world leaders announced their support for the science based target to protect 30% of the planet by 2030.

These new endorsements come days before a United Nations Biodiversity Summit -- where Heads of State will lay down their proposals to curb biodiversity loss before next year’s 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Kunming, China.

Today’s announcements build on growing support for the 30x30 proposal, and help further establish it as one of the foundational pillars of the post-2020 biodiversity ten year plan. The Convention on Biological Diversity has included the proposal to protect at least 30% of the planet by 2030 as one of 20 targets put forward in the most recent draft of its post-2020 strategy, reflecting the growing support from governments. Costa Rica and France co-chair the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, an intergovernmental coalition of more than 30 countries around the world championing the 30x30 proposal.

Campaign for Nature issued the following statements:

Enric Sala, Explorer in Residence, National Geographic Society and the author of “The Nature of Nature, Why we need the wild.”

"As a scientist who has dedicated his life to the protection of the natural world, I welcome these endorsements of protecting 30% of the world's land and ocean by 2030 from the highest level. It is the exceptional leadership that we need in these times."

Brian O’Donnell, Director, Campaign for Nature

"Scientists are telling us that protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030 is the minimum amount of protections needed to help confront the escalating crisis facing nature. It is encouraging to see a growing list of world leaders embrace this proposal as an essential element of any effective biodiversity protection strategy. For our collective efforts to be successful, we must also ensure that any global biodiversity strategy respects and promotes Indigenous Peoples’ rights and is backed by significantly increased funding."

Quotes on endorsing the protection of at least 30% of the planet by 2030

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, UK

The Prime Minister issued the following remarks prior to announcing on Monday, September 28 new commitments to protect 30% of the UK’s lands by 2030 and to join the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People which champions the 30x30 target for land and ocean at the global level.

"We must turn these words into action and use them to build momentum, to agree to ambitious goals and targets. We must act now - right now. We cannot afford to dither and delay because biodiversity loss is happening today and it is happening at a frightening rate. Left unchecked, the consequences will be catastrophic for us all.  "

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Canada

"We need to act in concert together to protect biodiversity. That's why Canada has signed onto the leadership pledge and the high ambition coalition. It means we are committed to protecting 25% of our land and 25% of our ocean by 2025 and hitting the 30% target for each by 2030. The way we are going to do it, is by working with Indigenous Peoples who are our partners in protecting the land and who understand how important it is to be good stewards of the lands and waters that sustain us. "

António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General

"''I commend the ambitious governments participating today that are calling for thirty percent of land and marine resources to be protected by 2030.''"

Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President, European Commission

"I call on all leaders to commit to protecting at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030. It is a goal that is firmly grounded in scientific evidence. We have already proposed to apply it for the European Union in our 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. I also call on all government and business leaders to significantly step up investments in nature and biodiversity. The 30% target backed up by strong financial support for nature is at the same time an environmental imperative and a great opportunity to improve our health and help our economies transition to a sustainable economy… We have one chance and once chance only to get it right… It can be done. It should be done. "

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Canada

"Because of the urgency of reversing the loss of nature, we are pleased to join the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, which calls for protecting at least 30 percent of the world’s land and ocean by 2030. Canada is uniquely positioned to contribute to this important goal both at home and abroad. We have both the responsibility and the opportunity. We have the second largest land mass, a fifth of the world’s freshwater, and the longest coastline in the world, that together are critical for biodiversity and for securing carbon in nature in the fight against climate change."

HRH Prince Charles

"To have the impact required we must also think of scale. Global mega projects such as 30% by 2030, the great green wall, Africa 100, the 2020 initiative and many others have the potential not only to improve natural capital, but also to increase opportunities in the green economy while improving sustainable livelihoods and local economic growth."

Additional press materials

Back to Top
About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.