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Australia joins international alliance to conserve planet’s biodiversity

Australia has joined an international coalition of countries committed to forging a global deal to conserve 30 per cent of the world’s land and sea, in order to halt the loss of biodiversity.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the G7 Summit that Australia will join the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, an intergovernmental group of 60 countries.

The HAC is a global pact to protect 30 per cent of the world’s land and sea, to halt the loss of species and ecosystems. G7 leaders have championed global biodiversity targets and with a view to supporting these global targets, Australia is committing to protecting a combined 30 per cent of domestic land and ocean by 2030.

“Australia is a frontrunner when it comes to taking action to conserve our biodiversity,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“Currently, Australia has more than 29 per cent of its land and sea in protected areas, compared to 15 per cent of land and 7 per cent of seas globally. We are well placed to make a strong contribution to a global ’30 by 30’ target and encourage other countries to do the same.

“Australia should be proud of our world-leading environmental credentials, including our actions to manage the impacts of climate change.

“We support the aim of an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, to be agreed under the Convention on Biological Diversity when the parties meet in Kunming China, in October this year.”

Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley highlighted the importance of countries working together to protect the resilience of natural systems that support climate stability, food supply and water.

“Being part of the HAC will allow Australia to play a leadership role in managing oceans, the Convention on Biological Diversity negotiations, and to promote the positive environmental outcomes we are achieving through our National Reserve System and Indigenous Protected Areas,” Minister Ley said.

“Australia has one of the world’s largest representative systems of marine protected areas, covering 37 per cent of Australian waters, and we are looking to extend that to up to 45 per cent. With one of the world’s largest maritime jurisdictions and measures already in place to protect the biodiversity of our land, we have demonstrated the ‘30 by 30’ target is achievable.

“We look forward to working with like-minded countries in finding the best ways to implement the detail of the 30 x 30 targets.”

The HAC is co-chaired by Costa Rica and France, with the United Kingdom as ocean co-chair.

Source: Press Office of the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister