30×30: Moving from Agreement to Implementation

How locally led, people-centered approaches protect our planet

What is 30×30?

In December 2022, the UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), through its Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), set a global target of conserving 30% of land and ocean by 2030, known as the 30×30 campaign. Delegates from over 190 countries signed the GBF agreement following the CBD’s 15th Conference of Parties meeting (CBD COP15) in Montreal, Canada.  

As the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People declares, the only viable path to 30×30 is one in which the Indigenous peoples and local communities on the front lines of climate change lead in conserving and stewarding the last great places on Earth. 

Rare’s 30×30 Strategy: Supporting Community-Led Management

For nearly 50 years, Rare has established itself as a trusted partner for locally led-and community-managed conservation. We have partnered with individuals, communities, and local leaders on the frontlines of conservation to help them adopt sustainable practices and manage and protect the nature on which we all depend. 

Though the focus of the 30×30 target is terrestrial and marine areas, the proposed target explicitly emphasizes areas of “particular importance to biodiversity and its contribution to people.” The means for achieving these targets is undeniably people-centered. 

To help reach 30×30, Rare is supporting our partner communities in the following three ways:  

  1. Ensuring locally led land management and equitable access to nature;
  2. Expanding the role of “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs); and 
  3. Using behavioral insights to protect nature and biodiversity. 

1. Ensure locally led water and land management and equitable access to nature

Sustainably protecting and managing natural habitats and resources depends on community support. Rare’s long legacy of work has shown that effectively engaging communities living on the margins of protected areas can improve local outcomes. Many protected areas exist on maps and in legislation, but they offer little protection given the lack of support from those who live in and around them. Effectively engaging communities in co-designing, making decisions about, and enforcing protected areas is critical to safeguarding natural resources in sustainable and culturally appropriate ways. 

Rare’s solution: Thriving communities

Solutions for protecting biodiversity must come from the communities stewarding those resources. Local leaders are the strongest advocates for reform and can significantly help advance policy and financial commitments to protect coastal and land resources. Rare’s Lands for Life program and Coastal 500 initiative are two examples of our solutions-in-action. 

Lands for Life helps strengthen Colombian smallholder farming communities by working with local leaders to adopt more sustainable and regenerative farming practices across the region. Regenerative agriculture can help smallholder farmers, their families, and their wider communities through job growth and food and economic security. It is also a powerful tool for tackling climate change; regenerative agricultural practices help enhance soil’s natural carbon sequestration properties, which helps to cool the planet and improve the soil, water, and biodiversity on which we all depend. 

Learn more about Lands for Life.  

For fisheries and marine ecosystem management, Rare is growing the Coastal 500 initiative—a coalition of mayors and other local government leaders across the developing tropics committed to working together for fisheries reform. In March 2023, six mayors and local leaders from the Coastal 500 network took to the international stage at the Our Ocean Conference in Panama. They shared their work supporting small-scale fishers and highlighted successful co-management and local leadership initiatives in their communities in Brazil, Honduras, and Indonesia.   

Learn more about the Coastal 500 initiative 

2. Expand the role of “other effective area-based conservation measures” (OECMs)

Wellmanaged coastal ecosystems and territorial seas are vital for local communities’ livelihoods, food security, and climate resilience and contribute significantly to marine biodiversity. Given their importance, we must include them in implementing 30×30 commitments and as part of the national targets for meeting the GBF’s goals. 

Achieving the 30×30 target will necessitate pursuing biodiversity conservation in places where outright protected area establishment is not practical, and communities of resource users will need to adopt new practices that protect biodiversity while enabling communities to thrive. According to a recent global assessment for the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), at least 1/3 of the planet’s remaining high biodiversity and unprotected lands are under the stewardship of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.  

At sea, Rare’s Fish Forever program to protect territorial seas for people and nature is a perfect example of such efforts to achieve conservation targets through sustainable resource use coupled with biodiversity protection  

Rare’s solution: MA+R as an OECM

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) typically regards Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as “Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures” (OECMs). OECMS are geographically defined areas governed and managed to achieve long-term, positive outcomes for conserving biodiversity and other locally relevant values. Big MPAs are an effective conservation tool but are not the only ones. Smaller, community-managed MPAs networked together can protect critical ecosystems while ensuring local coastal communities access to a crucial source of food and livelihoods.  

Rare’s management approach – called Managed Access Areas with Reserves (MA+R) – is central to its global Fish Forever program. A MA+R is a fisheries management system that balances sustainable use (Managed Access) and protection (Reserves) to yield positive outcomes for people and nature. This proven co-management system puts local communities and governments in control of designing, implementing, and enforcing their managed areas. 

Learn more about Rare’s 30×30 approach to coastal ecosystem and fisheries management. 

3. Use behavioral insights to protect nature and biodiversity

All global drivers of biodiversity loss, including agricultural expansion, wildlife trade, overfishing, invasive species, plastic waste, and more, have at least one thing in common: we cannot solve them without behavior change. Behavioral insights provide a unique opportunity to address these challenges. While policy reform and enforcement are critically important, so too are changes by the stakeholders directly involved.  

Any solutions to reducing threats to biodiversity require a systemic approach to identifying and enabling the most important behavior changes, on both the supply and demand side and a coordinated approach across the various actors and institutions involved. 

Rare’s solution: Surfacing community-led solutions

Solutions to the world’s most pressing conservation challenges already exist. However, these solutions often remain local or go unnoticed more broadly. We must broadcast what’s already working so practitioners worldwide can expand their impact. As part of Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment (BE.Center), Solution Search surfaces, spotlights, and accelerates existing solutions that use behavioral science to help solve the world’s most challenging environmental issues. 

Learn more about 2023’s Solution Search competition, which focuses on unsustainable wildlife trafficking in Latin America. 

Rare’s Work Beyond 30×30

In addition to 30×30, Rare is also supporting other elements of the Global Biodiversity Framework: 

Target GBF Goal Rare Solution
Target 1 Effective management to reduce key ecosystem loss. Rare programs help farmers, fishers, and other resource users sustainably manage their land and water. At the same time, its Center for Behavior & the Environment’s behavior-centered design approach empowers practitioners to promote sustainable practices and behaviors. 
Target 2 Restoration of degraded land, inland water, coastal, and marine ecosystems. Rare’s Fish Forever and Lands for Life programs help fishers, farmers, and other resource users restore their land and water.  
Target 10 Increasing of the application of biodiversity-friendly practices. Rare’s community-led solutions help to protect biodiversity
Target 16 Encouraging and enabling sustainable consumer choices. Our partnership with Switch-Asia to reduce food waste in China supports the goal of halving global food waste by 2030. Meanwhile, Rare’s Climate Culture program is working to shift individual behavior around food, energy use, and transportation, while the programs Entertainment Lab is helping to bring climate behaviors onto the big screen.