Under UK leadership, 80 countries have now signed up to an international target to protect at least 30 per cent of the world’s ocean by 2030.
Mid Sussex is only 12 miles from the Sussex Coastline, so like myself, many constituents are committed to keeping our oceans cleans and our biodiversity safe. We can help locally by joining litter picking groups as all this litter eventually ends up in our sea! I am delighted that the Government has committed to implement Highly Protected Marine Areas with a number of pilot sites.
On World Ocean Day (8th June 2021), countries from all four corners of the world - from India to Guyana, South Korea to Austria have pledged to support the ‘30by30’ commitment which is being championed by the UK-led Global Ocean Alliance and the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, co-chaired by the UK, Costa Rica and France.
This next milestone follows a successful meeting of the G7 Climate and Environment ministers, during which all members agreed to champion the global ‘30x30’ target to conserve or protect at least 30 per cent of the world’s land and at least 30 per cent of the world’s ocean by 2030, as well as committing to ‘30x30’ domestically.
This follows the independent Benyon Review, which recommended that Highly Protected Marine Areas would have an important role in helping the marine ecosystem recover. The review was commissioned in 2019 to look at how these areas could be introduced and the Government has today published its response to the review. As well as helping drive marine recovery, the review also highlighted other potential benefits of the sites, including increased tourism.
The sites to be piloted could be in or outside of existing Marine Protected Areas where they would benefit from a substantially higher level of protection. They will be identified by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee with input from stakeholders with a formal consultation set to launch next year.
Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said:
“The UK is a global leader in marine protection, and we are leading the way internationally to deliver healthy and sustainable seas. We must strike a balance in supporting sustainable industries while increasing protections for our seas to ensure a healthy, resilient and diverse marine ecosystem and we will work with others as we develop future protections.”
To read further information please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-marine-commitments-to-mark-world-ocean-day