meza1_MAYELA LOPEZAFP via Getty Images_costa rica MAYELA LOPEZAFP via Getty Images

Nature Can't Wait

Countries should commit to conserving at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030 in order to prevent a catastrophic loss of nature and stem climate change. The global investments needed to achieve this goal must come from a combination of enhanced public and private finance.

SAN JOSÉ – Costa Rica is celebrating 200 years of independence this year. It is an opportunity to honor our ancestors and think about our descendants, and we invite the world to celebrate with us. Those who cannot visit in person should do so by protecting the Earth’s land and oceans, the source of all life.

Specifically, governments, businesses, communities, and individuals should commit to conserving at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030. Scientists have determined that this “30x30” goal is the minimum level of conservation needed to prevent a catastrophic loss of nature and to stem climate change.

But 30x30 will not happen by itself; it will require time, attention, and money. Economists estimate that achieving this goal – by conserving the world’s most important intact wild areas and restoring crucial degraded habitats – would represent less than one-third of the amount that governments spend on subsidies to activities that destroy nature. It is encouraging that nine major philanthropic organizations recently pledged $5 billion to the 30x30 effort, the largest donation to nature in history.

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