“30 x 30” expresses the ideal of giving strong, lasting protection to 30% of the world’s land and ocean by the year 2030.
It is an ideal that President Biden saw fit to embrace as a national goal, by executive order, during the first week of his Administration. More importantly, it is an ideal that 190 other countries in the world agreed to adopt by international treaty signed this past December, 2022, in Montreal as part of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15).
And it is an essential step toward the related, still greater goal of “50 x 50,” which could avert the worst of an otherwise imminent mass extinction of species.
Why must we aim so high so fast? For those of us who have noticed the absence of warblers during spring migrations, for those who yearn to hear again full-throated choruses of frogs, wood thrush, and white throated sparrows in neighborhood ponds and groves, for those who have missed the sight of honeybees by the score plying petals in the fields, the reason for the ideal of 30 x 30 is clear: we have killed too much.
According to the latest “Living Planet Report” of the World Wildlife Foundation, more than 2/3 of the world’s birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and fish populations have vanished since 1970. Half a million insect species are under threat of extinction. One million animal species overall share the same fate.
30 x 30 is an ideal whose moment has come. As the Kenyan Nobel prize winning scientist and changemaker Wangari Maathai said: “There comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness…. That time is now.”
For those of us who created this exhibit, there could be no better place to contribute to 30 x 30 than Cashes Ledge. Sylvia Earle called this underwater marvel of the Gulf of Maine “the Yellowstone of the North Atlantic.”
Cashes Ledge would make a jewel for the crown of “30 x 30.”
Einhorn, Catrin, “ Nearly Every Country Signs On to a Sweeping Deal to Protect Nature” (New York Times, Dec 19, 2022) https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/19/climate/biodiversity-cop15-montreal-30×30.html
Davies, Dave, “The world’s insect population is in decline — and that’s bad news for humans” (Fresh Air, NPR, Feb, 24, 2022) https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/02/24/1082752634/the-insect-crisis-oliver-milman
“69 % average decline in wildlife populations since 1970, says new WWF report” (World Wildlife Fund Press Release concerning its 2022 Living Planet Report, Oct. 13, 2022)