After more than a year of preparation, the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC) was officially launched on Monday 11 January, with the aim of conserving 30% of the land and sea surface by 2030, halting the massive loss of species and protecting key ecosystems for human and natural well-being.
Led jointly by Costa Rica and France, with the United Kingdom as co-leader on maritime issues, the official presentation of the Coalition was made by President Carlos Alvarado, virtually, in the framework of the fourth edition of the One Planet Summit, convened by France.
In addition to the Costa Rican president, the French president and moderator of the event, Emmanuel Macron; Prince Charles; the German chancellor, Angela Merkel; the British prime minister, Boris Johnson; the head of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, and the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, among others, took part in this global event on biodiversity.
HAC groups more than 50 countries from all continents and one of its central objectives is to reach a global agreement to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and sea surface. To do so, HAC countries will negotiate this goal at the next meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which will be held this year in Kunming, China.
At the official launch of the initiative, the Costa Rican president recalled that the idea behind the Coalition was presented by his government in September 2019, during the Climate Summit convened by the United Nations Secretary General in New York, an event in which Costa Rica received the Champions of the Earth 2019 award, the highest environmental prize of the United Nations, and added that the first meeting of ministers in preparation for its creation took place at the PreCOP25, held in Costa Rica in October 2019.
He noted that the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People began with the conviction to act on the recommendation of scientists, who have indicated that to address both the biodiversity loss crisis and the climate crisis, a minimum of 30% protection by 2030 is needed.
“Protecting 30% of the planet’s land and marine area will undoubtedly improve the quality of life of our citizens and help us to achieve a fair, decarbonised and resilient society, laying the foundations for the fulfilment of the 2030 agenda,” he stressed.
In addition to the official launch by President Alvarado, the Minister of the Environment and Energy, Andrea Meza, will lead the One Planet Summit HAC Ministerial event, which will be attended by more than 20 environment ministers from countries that are part of the Coalition, including Ethiopia, Canada, Rwanda, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, Colombia, Mexico, Japan, Portugal, Switzerland, Pakistan, the European Union commissioner, and others.
The president also announced the Blue Forever Fund – the first in Latin America – which will ensure the financial sustainability and long-term conservation of Costa Rica’s marine biodiversity.
This Fund is supported by the Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Forever Costa Rica Association. It has a seed capital of $3.5 million, which will be increased through international donations in an effort to bring Costa Rica closer to achieving and maintaining its 30×30 targets by 2030.
“We have a moral and pragmatic imperative to come together, to make firm decisions that will bring us one step closer to reversing biodiversity loss and achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement. I invite all governments to join the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People in building a robust and ambitious Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework,” concluded President Carlos Alvarado.