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Spain joins France and other countries in backing Action Plan for Exemplary Mediterranean by 2030

Monday 11 January 2021

On Monday, Spain stepped up its commitment to the conservation of marine diversity and will actively work together with France and other countries in the Mediterranean basin on an Action Plan for an Exemplary Mediterranean by 2030. This Plan to help conserve the Mediterranean was announced on Monday at the One Planet Summit, organised by the French Government, which involved the participation of the Fourth Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera.

An integrated vision to conserve biodiversity

To help achieve this new global framework, Spain has been working with its European partners and other countries on the so-called High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, co-chaired by France, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom, which seeks to support the adoption at the COP15 of the target of protecting 30% of the world's land and marine surface area by the year 2030.

This platform, officially presented on Monday at the One Planet Summit, coinciding with the start of Biodiversity Year and the UN Decade of Ocean Science and Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, seeks to boost and strengthen an integrated vision of the conservation of biodiversity, after the global failure to achieve the so-called Aichi Biodiversity Targets.

With the French President, Emmanuel Macron, as host, the event also included the attendance of the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres; the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado; the President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde; the Vice-Premier of China, Han Zheng, and Prince Charles of England.

The Fourth Vice-President of the Government, Teresa Ribera, stated that Spain will remain at the vanguard of multilateral efforts to protect land and sea biodiversity, and called to support regional initiatives to protect marine areas. In this regard, the Fourth Vice-President of the Government explained that Spain has decided to work at a national level and has undertaken to actively work on the Action Plan for an Exemplary Mediterranean by 2030, particularly in the field of the fight against illegal, undeclared and unregulated fishing.

"We will protect marine biodiversity and manage resources in a sustainable fashion while making investments in the blue economy", stressed Teresa Ribera. In this regard, she explained that "we will advocate the international commitment that a minimum of 30% of the world's oceans should be protected through Marine Protected Areas by the year 2030". "We will also continue to develop our Marine Protected Areas for Fishing Interests, a tool that has proven to be effective in the conservation and recovery of fishing and marine biodiversity", while "we are committed to the responsible rollout of renewable marine energies".

Lines of action for the Mediterranean

The Action Plan for an Exemplary Mediterranean by 2030 is a multisector initiative that seeks to make the Mediterranean Sea an exemplary sea by the year 2030, by mobilising States in the basin through specific actions based on four main goals:

1. The development of protected areas to achieve the target of 30% by 2030

2. Gradually do away with overfishing.

3. Ban single-use plastic.

4. Further enhance the sustainability of maritime transport.

In the first half of 2021, a working group which will include partner States will specify concrete actions before the publication of the Action Plan in September 2021 during the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In order to reverse the loss of nature, Teresa Ribera also highlighted the importance of changing our method of production and consumption towards a more sustainable model, to which end the participation of all productive sectors is essential, which must incorporate the variable of biodiversity. In this regard, Spain advocates that 30% of Official Development Assistance for climate action of the National Development Agencies and Banks should have collateral benefits in the field of biodiversity by the year 2030.

The Fourth Vice-President of the Government also undertook to back more international commitments through the European Union in the period prior to the holding of the COP15 on Biodiversity in Kunming, which, in principle, will be held in the month of May.

A target based on science

The global protection target of 30% of the planet's surface areas is based on science and echoes the recommendations of IPBES (Intergovernmental Platform on Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Services) and the IUCN, which establish protected areas as a convincing and effective solution for the conservation of species and ecosystems and recommend significantly increasing their surface areas by at least 30% by the year 2030.

Non official translation