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Time to step up and save our ocean - Defra

In the ‘super year’ for the ocean, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow issues urgent call for global action to halt damage to marine habitats.

Environment Minster Rebecca Pow has called for governments around the world to join the UK-led 30by30 initiative to protect at least 30% of the planet’s ocean by 2030.

2020 is a critical year for ocean protection, with the UK government pressing for higher marine protection targets, currently set at 10%, to be agreed as part of a new global biodiversity framework in October 2020.

Speaking at the Greenpeace launch later today (15 January) of an animated film depicting endangered marine life, the Minister is expected to say: Climate change is ocean change. The blue lungs that cover our planet underpin all health and wealth worldwide – yet we’re on track to lose the coral reefs that support over a quarter of marine species. In my lifetime we’ve lost a shocking half the population of our marine species, half our coastal wetlands, and half our Arctic ice, imperilling hundreds of millions of people living less than 10 meters above current sea levels. So those of us who can help must step up to support the ocean to adapt to climate change. Our government is already rolling out nature-based solutions to tackle it, for example our work to maintain and enhance 20,000 hectares of mighty mangroves in Madagascar, Indonesia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. But change requires collective effort. That’s why we’re calling for at least 30% of the world’s ocean to be safeguarded by Marine Protected Areas in the course of this decade.”

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