We bid farewell to 2022 with the agreement of the Montreal summit of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (COP15). While better than expected, the agreement is insufficient. The rate at which we are losing biodiversity is the highest in human history. The previous Aichi targets agreed at COP10 have been systematically missed. We hope that the agreements at the Montreal summit will represent a turning point and new hope for the protection of our planet's biological wealth.
The mission of the newly agreed Global Biodiversity Framework is to stop biodiversity loss by 2030. A modest milestone – ideally we should be aiming for targets that allow us to gain biodiversity, not just stop losing it – but in the context in which we find ourselves, it is necessary and realistic.
Among the 23 targets to which almost 200 countries have committed themselves is the target to protect at least 30% of the land area and 30% of the sea area by 2030. Prior to this new agreement, both the EU and Spain had already committed to the 30x30 target and a few months ago the Balearic government publicly expressed its ambition to be the first region in Europe to achieve it.
Protecting a minimum of 30% of the Balearic Sea, with at least 10% of the total highly protected by 2030, is the number one strategic priority of our foundation. During this and the coming years we will continue to focus our efforts to achieve the 30x30 and 10x30 objective in the Balearic Islands, along with three others: making the Balearic recreational and professional fisheries the most sustainable in the Mediterranean, improving the conservation status of vulnerable habitats and species, and improving the quality of our waters.
There are less than seven years to 2030. We hope that 2023 will be a prosperous year for the protection of the Balearic Sea and its biodiversity; that the Three Wise Men will bring more public and private funding; and that, regardless of the colour of the governments that come out of the elections, giant steps will be taken to make the Balearics a world reference in marine conservation. Happy 2023 to everyone!
ANIOL ESTEBAN - Director