Philanthropies pledge $5 billion to conserve nature worldwide

Philanthropies pledge $5 billion to conserve nature worldwide

Press Release (AsiaNet)

AsiaNet 91955

New York, Sept. 28, 2021 (Antara/Bernama-AsiaNet) -

Historic announcement follows ASEAN member states' calls for more funding for global biodiversity agreement

At a high-level event in the margins of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, nine philanthropic organizations launched the "Protecting Our Planet Challenge" and pledged $5 billion [ ] to protect and conserve 30% of the planet by 2030 by supporting protected areas and Indigenous stewardship of their territories. This marks the largest-ever philanthropic commitment to nature conservation.

The science based 30x30 target has emerged as a central element of the Convention on Biological Diversity's draft 10-year strategy [ ], which is expected to be approved at COP15 in Kunming, China in April 2022. Indigenous leaders welcomed the announcements as a sign of how the 30x30 target could be aligned with human rights.

Throughout the Convention on Biological Diversity negotiations, ASEAN member states have raised the important topic of biodiversity finance. A landmark study [ ] found that current global spending on biodiversity needs to increase by more than a factor of five in order to protect the most important biodiversity around the world.

The event also featured over a dozen heads of states, Indigenous leaders, and high-level United Nations officials, and resulted in additional financing commitments from governments and multilateral institutions to help close the biodiversity funding gap.

Leaders from the ASEAN regions reacted to the announcements with the following statements:

Ms. Vicky Tauli Corpus, Nia Tero Board Chair & Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, said:

"Investing in the rights of Indigenous peoples and their guardianship of territory is one of the most important, and most overlooked, strategies for addressing the existential threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. As an organization committed to securing Indigenous guardianship of thriving ecosystems, we applaud these leading-edge funders for dramatically expanding support of this essential pathway to achieve the 30x30 targets."

Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim, Executive Director, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, said:

"This funding announcement is good news for nature and good news for the ASEAN region. It sends an important message to countries ready to protect or conserve additional land or sea areas that there will be new funding to help them. Given the concentration of biodiversity in our region, ASEAN member states will have an important role to play in implementing the 30x30 global target, but their efforts will only be successful with enough financial support."

Dr. Yongyuth Yuthavong, Former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Science and Technology for Thailand, said:

"This is precisely the type of announcement that many in the region have been hoping for. With appropriate funding, key proposals like 30x30 become not only necessary, but viable. I encourage all ASEAN member states to support the 30x30 global target and to start thinking about how they could contribute to its implementation."

Dr. Zakri Abdul Hamid, Ambassador and Science Advisor to the Campaign for Nature, and former Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, said:

"I am pleased to see more funding committed to protected and conserved areas, and I look forward to seeing more ASEAN member states embracing the 30x30 global target. Science has clearly shown that this is the minimum amount of conservation needed to help curb global biodiversity loss, and economic research has shown that achieving 30x30 will create jobs and spur economic growth."

KM Reyes, Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder Centre for Sustainability PH, said:

"Directly funding our Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities at the frontlines of nature is the only way we will effectively overcome the dual biodiversity and climate crises we face. I applaud the philanthropic groups who commit to this. To protect our future, our governments and companies must do the same."


Name: Alif Abdullah
Tel: +60 12-612 0020

Name: Azmil Zakri
Tel: +60 17-389 6039