This single commitment is roughly equal to all philanthropic giving for marine protected areas and habitat protection over the past decade, putting ambitious ocean conservation goals within reach
For immediate release, June 29, 2022
The Protecting Our Planet Challenge will invest at least $1 billion USD to support the creation, expansion and management of marine protected areas and Indigenous and locally governed marine and coastal areas by 2030. The following statement was released today by the 11 partners:
The UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon is shining a global spotlight on our ocean and on the growing momentum to scale ocean action. Everything from locally led advocacy to whole ocean planning must be deployed rapidly to avoid continued losses and to secure equitably governed seas. Marine protected areas are one of the most effective tools available at all scales. They can safeguard biodiversity, facilitate natural regeneration, protect islands and coastal areas from storms, boost fisheries yields and secure marine carbon stocks.
The Protecting Our Planet Challenge is a $5 billion private funding commitment to support the protection of at least 30% of the most important areas of the planet by 2030. This largest-ever commitment of its kind is aimed at tackling Earth’s convergent climate, biodiversity, and human wellbeing crises. The $5 billion Protecting Our Planet Challenge represents the combined 10-year investment plans of individual grant making organizations working independently to support protected, conserved and Indigenous and locally governed areas across a diversity of lands and seas in both non-ODA (official development assistance) and ODA-eligible countries.
Over the next decade the Challenge, comprised of eleven organizations, will support efforts to reach the 30% protection goal through strengthening and expanding protected areas and by enhancing support for Indigenous stewardship of traditional territory, as Indigenous peoples' spiritual relationship with the ocean enables them to be good guardians of biodiversity. Currently, 7.93% of the global ocean is zoned as marine protected areas, however only 2.4% of the ocean is considered fully or highly protected. Coral reef ecosystems around the globe also face an uncertain future, threatening over a quarter of all ocean life and the source of food, livelihoods, and cultural heritage for over 500 million people. Even with drastic emission reductions to meet Paris Agreement targets, 70-90% of today’s corals are anticipated to vanish by mid-century.
We anticipate that the Protecting Our Planet Challenge will invest at least $1 billion (20% of the expected commitments) to support the creation, expansion and management of marine protected areas by 2030. This single commitment is roughly equal to all philanthropic giving for marine protected areas and habitat protection over the past decade, putting ambitious ocean conservation goals within reach.
In recognition of this, and the increase in capacity needed to strengthen and expand protected areas ethically, the partners of the Protecting Our Planet Challenge are developing shared grant making practices, building on evidence-based approaches to securing long-term sustainable management, and financing of protected areas. Protected areas function best alongside a suite of complementary approaches, including Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs), which many Protecting Our Planet Challenge partners are also actively supporting.
We will work together to support projects advancing enduring protection of at least 30 percent of the planet in the most important places for biodiversity and climate by 2030, building collective efforts behind a more equitable, carbon neutral and nature-positive future. Meeting this goal for the ocean will require greater ambition, innovation and collaboration among governments, companies, local communities, Indigenous peoples, and civil society to secure the mosaic of areas necessary for success. The ocean is intimately connected with coastlines, islands, and land uses far from our shores. As the world scales up protection, marine and terrestrial protected areas must be evaluated and designated in coordination.
The partners of the Protecting Our Planet Challenge support the High Ambition Coalition for People and Nature in championing a global deal for nature and people with the central goal of protecting at least 30 percent of world’s land and ocean by 2030. This coalition of over 90 countries are calling for increased spatial targets to protect or effectively conserve at least 30% of the planet - land and sea - by 2030, effective management of protected and conserved areas, increased public and private financing to ensure long-term management and local governance, and clear implementation mechanisms to put nature on a path to recovery by 2030. The coalition seeks to find synergies amongst the Rio Conventions and work on increasing the ambition beyond the 15th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal in December this year.
We believe that by committing to a shared vision and statement, as well as set of shared objectives, we will bring greater coherence and impact to our work in the Protecting Our Planet Challenge. We invite other donors to join us in our support the role of the ocean and coastal communities in the protection of nature and a more sustainable future.
Signed by the Protecting Our Planet Challenge partners:
Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin;
Bezos Earth Fund
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
International Conservation Fund of Canada
Rob and Melani Walton Foundation
Dr Gerardo Fragoso, Director of Environmental Programmes, Arcadia, said, “For years, scientists and practitioners have demonstrated the benefits of effectively managed protected areas in slowing decline and promoting the recovery of marine environments. Marine protected areas replenish surrounding waters, and securing a network of at least 30% of the most important places for biodiversity is essential to ensure species, habitats and communities thrive well beyond 2030.”
“Our goal to advance the protection of at least 30 percent of the planet is both urgent and fundamental,” said Antha Williams, who leads Environment Programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “To curb the devastating loss of coral reefs, mangroves, and other ecosystems critical to the mitigation of climate change and resilience of coastal communities, Bloomberg Philanthropies is pleased to double down on our support for the Protecting Our Planet Challenge, an important movement to support the livelihoods of our communities threatened by climate change and loss of biodiversity.”
“This commitment to investing long-term in the expansion and management of marine-protected areas is about much more than ocean waters,” said Aileen Lee, chief of programs, Moore Foundation. “It’s about the people who depend on those oceans. Local residents and community organizations are working to sustain the marine habitats that are central to their lives and livelihoods, and their work simultaneously leads to improving the health of our oceans and environments on a global scale. We are proud to support these focused and committed long-term investments.”
Molly Bartlett, Executive Director of the International Conservation Fund of Canada said: “We have seen in our work the devastation that illegal and unregulated fishing has on marine ecosystems. Fortunately, there are simple solutions at hand that can improve protection of existing marine protected areas, and in turn improve livelihoods in local fishing communities. Marine ecosystems such as seagrass beds can recover quickly when effective protection is put in place. So we are delighted that the Protecting Our Planet Challenge group will enable the creation of more marine protected areas and increased protections for those we already have.”
Jennifer Corpuz, Nia Tero’s Policy Lead, said: “Protecting, promoting and investing in Indigenous guardianship of oceans must be ensured to equitably meet the 30% target.”
“In order to address climate change, biodiversity loss, and human wellbeing, the protection of our oceans is as critical as conserving and restoring our planet's forests and grasslands," said Wes Sechrest, Re:wild chief scientist and CEO. "Doing so effectively requires this bold and ambitious commitment to protect the right 30 percent of our oceans by 2030. Re:wild is proud to be part of these efforts, which will undoubtedly benefit all life on Earth."
Said Cristián Samper, Bezos Earth Fund Principal Advisor for Nature; and President and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society: “With this remarkable $1 billion USD commitment to the world’s oceans, the Protecting Our Planet Challenge is helping to ensure the world protects at least 30 percent of nature – both land and sea – by 2030. This is not just a goal about numbers – but a goal to ensure our planet forever remains a sustainable home for both people and wildlife.”
Top photo by: Emily Darling/WCS
Partner Boilerplates and Contacts
Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin Arcadia is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia also supports projects that promote open access, and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online. Tami Shacham email@example.com
Bezos Earth Fund The Bezos Earth Fund is Jeff Bezos' $10 billion commitment to fund scientists, activists, NGOs, and other actors who will drive climate and nature solutions. By allocating funds creatively, wisely, and boldly, the Bezos Earth Fund has the potential for transformative influence in this decisive decade. Funds will be fully allocated by 2030—the date by which the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals must be achieved. Angela Landers, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bloomberg Philanthropies Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 941 cities and 173 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: the Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation, corporate, and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $1.66 billion. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Daphne Wang; email@example.com; +1-646-771-1473
Bobolink The Bobolink Foundation supports collaborative biodiversity conservation in the Americas, emphasizing grasslands, coastal conservation, wildlife and wild landscapes and community-based conservation. In partnership with others, we advance conservation and stewardship of biodiversity through the protection of natural areas, education, and building local constituencies for nature. Pepper, Justin firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation: Gordon and Betty Moore established the foundation to create positive outcomes for future generations. In pursuit of that vision, we foster path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements and preservation of the special character of the San Francisco Bay Area. Our Environmental Conservation Program focuses on safeguarding the healthy ecosystems that sustain us. Trish Doherty, Consultant, email@example.com, +1 415 359 8268
ICFC The International Conservation Fund of Canada is Canada's leading international conservation organization. Since 2007, we have been partnering on projects with local conservation organizations in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Our work is science based and we are committed to engaging local communities and securing lasting conservation gains in priority areas. Key considerations are: vulnerability (species and ecological communities that are rare or have small ranges, as many do in the tropics); connectivity and ecologial sustainability; species richness/biodiversity; existing threats; and knowing what actions are needed and that they are feasible and cost-effective. Molly Bartlett bartlett@ICFCanada.org
Re:wild Re:wild protects and restores the wild. We have a singular and powerful focus: the wild as the most effective solution to the interconnected climate, biodiversity and human wellbeing crises. Founded by a group of renowned conservation scientists together with Leonardo DiCaprio, Re:wild is a force multiplier that brings together Indigenous peoples, local communities, influential leaders, nongovernmental organizations, governments, companies and the public to protect and rewild at the scale and speed we need. Learn more at rewild.org. Lindsay Renick Mayer, Lrenickmayer@rewild.org, + 1 (512) 686-6225
Nia Tero Everywhere Indigenous peoples thrive, their homelands and waters thrive, benefiting all peoples of this warming planet. This reality inspired Nia Tero’s mission of working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples to strengthen guardianship of the Earth. All of Nia Tero’s work is alongside Indigenous peoples’ right, capacity, and acceptance of responsibility to sustain thriving natural systems within their collective territories. Nia Tero’s strategies fall into two interwoven pathways: 1) direct partnership with Indigenous peoples securing guardianship of their homelands and waters; and 2) efforts to expand recognition and support for Indigenous guardianship globally. Leigh Morgan, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1.510.207.5203
Rainforest Trust Rainforest Trust creates and expands protected areas in rainforests and other tropical habitats by channeling private donor support to local partners. Since 1988, our cost-effective conservation model has protected 37 million acres, helping to save species from extinction, protect biodiversity, secure land titles for indigenous people, and prevent the release of carbon that causes climate change. Vicki Bendure, email@example.com, +1-202-374-9259
Rob and Melani Walton Foundation Rob and Melani Walton Foundation: The mission of the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation is to elevate people, planet, and purpose by changing what people feel is possible and know is doable. The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation seeks partners who focus on the essential and interconnected elements of sustaining life, advancing all forms of knowledge, promoting understanding of healing, and increasing the sustainability of people and our planet. Donny Epp, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wyss Foundation In 2018 Hansjörg Wyss and the Wyss Foundation met the nature crisis by launching the Wyss Campaign for Nature. Wyss has committed $1.5 billion to the Campaign before the end of this decade, supporting Indigenous Peoples, local communities, and nations in their efforts to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. Greg Zimmerman, email@example.com, +1 847-848-2881
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