In advance of critical biodiversity negotiations in Geneva, the Campaign for Nature’s Global Steering Committee is urging ambitious nature protection, funding for biodiversity, and support for Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Led by former US Senator Russ Feingold and comprised of eight former heads of state, two former prime ministers, six former ministers, and four environmental and indigenous and local experts, the Campaign for Nature’s Global Steering Committee (GSC) has released a joint statement asserting that the success of an upcoming global biodiversity agreement hinges on the adoption of the global, science-backed 30×30 target.

The statement urges governments that have not yet endorsed the global 30×30 goal to join the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC), a group of countries championing the target on a global scale. Many GSC members hail from countries that have not yet signed on in support of the HAC including the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Thailand, and Iceland. Currently, HAC members include over 85 countries in Africa, Latin America, Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, and beyond.

In the statement, the GSC welcomed the endorsement of the 30×30 goal in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. The UN study asserted that the protection of 30% to 50% of the world’s land and ocean is required for maintaining the resilience of biodiversity and ecosystem services at a global scale.

The GSC statement also underscored that all conservation efforts must protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities,  “who know the land we seek to protect better than anyone.” The Campaign for Nature emphasizes that IPLCs must be central partners in the development and implementation of the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and the global agreement must ensure free, prior and informed consent is a central element of the 30×30 target.

And the GSC urged countries worldwide to seek to close the current biodiversity funding gap of US$700 billion through reduced harmful subsidies and increased global spending. They also endorsed a recent call by NGOs to developed countries to provide at least US$60 billion annually in international finance for biodiversity that would support efforts to protect biodiversity in the developing world.

The GSC released their statement on the eve of the UN Convention on Biodiversity’s third and last round of negotiations – set to take place in Geneva, Switzerland March 13-27 – before the final biodiversity agreement–known as the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework– is signed by more than 190 countries later this summer at a summit in Kunming, China.

Established in 2020, the Campaign for Nature’s Global Steering Committee (GSC) is one of the largest groups of independent global leaders working together for the protection of biodiversity and the halting of climate change.