Belgium joins international coalition against biodiversity loss
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Belgium joins international coalition against biodiversity loss

©Jurgen Freund, WWF

Belgium has joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC), an intergovernmental group of 60 countries co-chaired by Costa Rica and France and by the United Kingdom as Ocean co-chair, with the goal of protecting at least 30 percent of the world’s land and ocean by 2030.

“The 30×30 target is a global target which aims to halt the accelerating loss of species, and protect vital ecosystems that are the source of our economic security,” HAC explains on the official website.

Sixty one countries have already joined HAC, which in the run-up to the Conference of the Parties’ Biodiversity Conference draws attention to the degradation and disappearance of ecosystems as one of the major factors for global biodiversity loss.

For Belgium, the Federal Minister for Climate and the Environment Zakia Khattabi (Ecolo), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the North Sea Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open Vld), Flemish Minister for Nature Zuhal Demir (N-VA), her Walloon counterpart Céline Tellier (Ecolo) and Brussels Minister for the Environment Alain Maron (Ecolo) have signed.

In addition to the 30×30 goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s land surface and 30 percent of its oceans by 2030, the countries have signed up to unambiguously establish this in the new Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

This will set the stage for what should be a turning point in how biodiversity and ecosystems are managed worldwide, the ministers said in a joint press release.

“By signing the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, Belgium commits to work with its EU partners and partners in third countries to build knowledge and capacity to halt the further loss of biodiversity and of ecosystems worldwide,” Tellier said.

Ministers hope for an ambitious GBF “that can deliver visible results and stem the tide of further biodiversity and ecosystem loss.”

“Avoiding further loss of species, degradation and loss of forests and decline of marine ecosystems will not only benefit nature, but will safeguard the planet and the well-being of people. The ecosystem services that nature provides are crucial,” their statement reads.

“Nature-based solutions, both on land and marine, are part of the solution of how we can counteract the devastating impact of climate change.”