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Efforts to Protect Habitat and Wildlife Around the World Boosted by £34M of UK Taxpayer Funding

Up to £29 million to help developing countries meet ‘30by30’ land target and new funding for conservation projects

Wildlife, plants and habitats at risk across the globe are set to benefit from new taxpayer funding announced today by Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

The UK government will pledge nearly £30 million of taxpayers' money to support developing countries in delivering the ‘30by30’ target, which is aiming to protect least 30 percent of the world’s land and ocean habitats by 2030. The target has the support of over 100 countries globally, with UK negotiators driving to get it included in a new UN Global Biodiversity Framework being negotiated in Montreal this week.

Today’s funding announcement signals a major commitment to provide nations with the tools they need to protect fragile ecosystems and tackle some of the causes of habitat loss such as deforestation, and unsustainable farming and fishing practices, and protect wildlife threatened with extinction.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said:

At COP15 countries can put nature back on the road to recovery with a strong Global Biodiversity Framework that includes a commitment to see at least 30% of the world’s land and ocean protected by 2030.
In support of this objective I’m pleased to announce up to £29 million to support developing countries in delivering the ‘30by30’ target and £5 million of funding for projects which showcase the incredible work underway to study and restore nature across our network of Overseas Territories.

The UK is also announcing today funding for the study and restoration of wildlife and plants under threat from a changing climate and invasive species in our overseas territories. The Darwin Plus scheme will support over 20 conservation projects in these unique and globally significant environments.

Projects to benefit from the £5.79 million of new funding include:

  • Using satellite technology to monitor seabird populations in South Georgia

  • Reintroducing threatened plants such as Falkland Rock Cress and two bird species - Cobb’s Wren and Tussac-bird - to the Falkland Islands wildlife reserves

  • Helping support endangered sea turtles on the Cayman Islands

  • Measuring the impact of Humpback whales on Krill populations around South Georgia

The announcement was made as the next stage of negotiations at COP15, known as the High-Level Segment, commenced, with world leaders, international businesses and civil society coming together to agree action to reverse the twin challenges of nature loss and climate change.

The UK is leading a coalition of high-ambition countries at the negotiations trying to secure a landmark global biodiversity framework which will end the global decline of species and help preserve the fabric of life on earth.

We will continue to provide further leadership on the world stage when it comes to protecting our natural environment, with the first round of our new funding project – Darwin Plus Local – opening for applications in January 2023. More details on how to apply will be published in due course.

The UK government has today opened a new call for evidence for the purposes of updating the UK Overseas Territories Biodiversity Strategy to further build upon our work supporting and improving biodiversity across all the UK Overseas Territories.

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