IN celebration of World Wildlife Day on March 3, the 30x30 SEA Coalition launched its official website to call for the protection of 30 percent of the world's land and water forms by 2030 through the involvement of indigenous peoples and local communities.

The 30x30 campaign, globally known as Campaign For Nature, was a global campaign Southeast Asian groups were adopting to urge government leaders to join the High Ambition Coalition (HAC); thereby, agreeing to protect at least 30 percent of the world's land and water forms during the Convention on Biological Diversity Conference of Parties or COP15 in China later this year.

HAC for nature and people is an intergovernmental coalition of more than 80 countries, co-chaired by Costa Rica, France and the UK, championing the 30x30 goal. Cambodia was the first and currently only HAC member from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region. Other Asian members included Japan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and the Maldives.

Asean was a biodiversity hotspot, containing 3 of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world: Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. In these countries, 4 of the world's 25 biodiversity hotspots could be found.

However, the region was also a deforestation hotspot, losing 1.2 percent of forests annually, leading to severe biodiversity loss, according to Nanyang Technological University research in 2020. The Philippines, Myanmar and Thailand were also three of the most consistently vulnerable countries on the planet to extreme climate events since 1999, according to an Eckstein, et. al report in 2021). Current trends indicate stakeholders were only going to impacted worse with each new year.

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To join the coalition, visit bit.ly/30x30Partner