Global Biodiversity Framework Targets

Target 3. 30 per cent of areas are effectively conserved

Ensure and enable that by 2030 at least 30 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas, and of marine and coastal areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, are effectively conserved and managed through ecologically representative, well-connected and equitably governed systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, recognizing indigenous and traditional territories, where applicable, and integrated into wider landscapes, seascapes and the ocean, while ensuring that any sustainable use, where appropriate in such areas, is fully consistent with conservation outcomes, recognizing and respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including over their traditional territories.

Following are the guidance notes prepared by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) for Target 3

Well-governed, effectively managed and representative protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) are a proven method for safeguarding both habitats and populations of species and for delivering important ecosystem services and multiple benefits to people. They are a central element of biodiversity conservation strategies at local, national and global levels. Protected areas and OECMs can take various forms, ranging from strictly protected areas to areas that allow sustainable use consistent with the protection of species, habitats and ecosystem processes. 

This target calls for the expansion and enhancement of protected and conserved areas, (i.e. areas that are managed with the aim of achieving positive outcomes for biodiversity). The target indicates three approaches that may be employed to achieve this aim:

  • Protected areas –The Convention on Biological Diversity defines a protected area as geographically defined area which is designated or regulated and managed to achieve specific conservation objectives. IUCN has established a categorization of protected areas. 
  • Other effective area based conservation measures – These are a geographically defined area other than a protected area, which is governed and managed in ways that achieve positive and sustained long-term outcomes for the in situ conservation of biodiversity, with associated ecosystem functions and services and where applicable, cultural, spiritual, socio–economic, and other locally relevant values.  
  • Indigenous and traditional territories – Indigenous peoples and local communities often own, occupy and/or manage areas with unique and significant biodiversity. The appropriate recognition of these areas could make important contributions towards this target. However, any decisions regarding these areas must recognize and respect the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities  over them and including obtaining free, prior and informed consent.

The target also sets out several elements that need to be considered:

  • At least 30 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas, and of marine and coastal areas – This quantitative element of the target specifies that, globally, at least 30 per cent of terrestrial and inland water areas, and at least 30 per cent of marine and coastal areas should be conserved or protected by 2030.
  • Areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services – Areas particularly important for biodiversity include areas high in species richness or threatened species, threatened biomes and habitats, areas with particularly important habitats and areas that are important for the continued provision of ecosystem functions and services. The protection of such areas should be prioritised in reaching this target
  • Effectively conserved and managed – Protected areas and OECMs must be managed with the primary objective of achieving positive outcomes for biodiversity. Effective management and sustained positive outcomes for biodiversity conservation requires the adoption of appropriate management objectives and processes, governance systems, adequate and appropriate resourcing and consistent monitoring.
  • Ecologically representative - Protected area and OECMs should contain adequate samples of the full range of existing ecosystems, ecological processes and regions.
  • Well-connected – In order for protected areas and OECMs to be effective, they should be connected through corridors as well as integrated into wider landscapes, seascapes and the ocean. This is an essential element of creating effective systems or networks of protected and conserved areas that can meet sustained in situ conservation outcomes and cope with stresses and disturbances, including from the impacts of climate change.
  • Equitably governed – A key element of the equitable governance of protected areas and OECMs is ensuring that relevant actors are involved and able to fully participate in their establishment, management and governance and that the costs and benefits of establishing and managing such areas are shared fairly. It also includes effective participation in decision-making, transparent procedures, access to justice in conflicting situations, and the recognition of the rights and diversity of the people that will be affected by the establishment and management of protected areas and OECMs.
  • Sustainable use consistent with conservation objectives – Some types of protected areas and OECMs allow for limited types of non-industrial, traditional cultural, activities to occur within their boundaries. Examples could include hunting, fishing, gathering and tourism. Where these activities are permitted within protected areas and OECMs, they should be sustainable and consistent with conservation objectives.
  • The rights of indigenous peoples and local communities  - all activities carried out under this target must be done so recognizing and respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including over their traditional territories. This includes, as specified in Section C of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework that rights, knowledge, including traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity, innovations, worldviews, values and practices of indigenous peoples and local communities are respected, and documented and preserved with their free, prior and informed consent, including through their full and effective participation in decision-making, in accordance with relevant national legislation, international instruments, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Actions to reach Target 3 should take into account all of the considerations for implementation identified in section C of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework
  • Progress towards this target will directly support the attainment of Goal A of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Progress towards this target will also help to reach targets 4, 9 and 11. Conversely, progress towards targets 12121419202122 and 23 will help to reach this target. 
  • Target 3 addresses issues that were also addressed by Aichi Biodiversity Target 11
  • Elements of Target 3 are also addressed in the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals, including targets 6.611.414.5 and 15.4 
  • What is the current extent of protected areas and OECMs on land, in inland waters and in marine and coastal areas in the country? How representative are these areas of the ecoregions in the country? Do these areas cover areas particularly important for biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services? How are they connected and integrated into the wider landscape, sea scape and ocean? 
  • Which areas of importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services are not currently protected? Which areas are underrepresented? Which habitats are declining the quickest? Which habitats have little left? 
  • How effective are existing protected areas in terms of achieving their conservation objectives? How can management effectiveness be improved? Are indigenous peoples and local communities involved in management of protected areas? 
  • What measures are in place to ensure the equitable governance of protected areas and OECMs? How do these account for the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities and stakeholders? Are there benefit sharing measures or mechanisms in place? How could the effectiveness of these measures be improved?
  • What are the opportunities and constraints to expanding protected areas and OECMS, generally and by eco-region? What are the potential ecological, economic, and social costs and benefits of additional protected areas and how could these be shared? Who are the actors, including indigenous and local communities, that may be affected? How can they be involved, and their rights and needs addressed? What are the trade-offs to consider? 
  • What additional resources (financial, human and technical) will be required to reach the national target that is set? How can additional funds be raised? What are possible funding sources?

The monitoring framework for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework identifies the following indicator for this target:

Headline indicators:

Component indicators:

  • Protected area coverage of key biodiversity areas
  • Protected Area Management Effectiveness (PAME)
  • ProtConn
  • Protected Area Connectedness Index (PARC-Connectedness) 
  • Red List of Ecosystems Connectivity Indicator (in development) 
  • The number of protected areas that have completed a site-level assessment of governance and equity (SAGE) 
  • Species Protection Index

 Complementary indicators

  • Protected area downgrading, downsizing and degazettement (PD) 
  • Status of key biodiversity areas 
  • IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas
  • Number of hectares of UNESCO designated sites (natural and mixed World Heritage sites and Biosphere Reserves)
  • Protected area and OECM management effectiveness (MEPCA) indicator
  • Protected Area Isolation Index (PAI) 
  • Protected Areas Network metric (ProNet) 
  • Extent to which protected areas and other effective area based conservation measures (OECMs) cover Key Biodiversity Areas that are important for migratory species 
  • Coverage of Protected areas and OECMS and traditional territories (by governance type)
  •  Ramsar Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (RMETT) 
  • Percentage of biosphere reserves that have a positive conservation outcome and effective management 
  • Extent of indigenous peoples and local communities’ lands that have some form of recognition 
  • Species Protection Index 
  • Number of countries implementing national legislation, policies or other measures regarding free, prior and informed consent related to conservation 
  • Red List of Ecosystems 
  • Proportion of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecological regions which are conserved by protected areas or other effective area-based conservation measures

Note from the Secretariat: This guidance material provides an overview of the target by briefly introducing key terms, highlighting some of the implications for national target setting, and providing key points and guiding questions for consideration as part of national target-setting exercises. It also identifies the adopted indicators to monitor progress and resources that could assist with national target setting and implementation. This material should be considered a work in progress, and it will be periodically updated with inputs from Parties and partner organizations in the light of experiences with its use. This information is meant to serve as a resource that Parties and others may wish to consider as they implement the Global Biodiversity Framework. It does not replace or qualify decision 15/4 or 15/5