Trinidad and Tobago has become one of the latest country to join the Global Ocean Alliance and the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, an environmental initiative developed by the United Kingdom.
Planning Minister Camille Robinson-Regis and British High Commissioner Harriet Cross made the announcement on Saturday.
The alliance now consists of 54 countries, which aims to protect at least 30 per cent of the global ocean in Marine Protected Areas and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures, two separate designations, by 2030, a programme referred to as the “30by30 target.”
Robinson-Regis issued an official letter to the UK’s Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment Zac Goldsmith committing the TT government’s support for the target.
She said joining the alliance bolsters the government’s efforts towards conservation and sustainable use of the country’s biodiversity resources.
“The Cabinet of TT recognises that by joining the Global Ocean Alliance and the High Ambition Coalition, the Government of TT will support the adoption of a ’30 by 30′ target for land and ocean in the post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, under the Convention on Biological Diversity.”
British High Commissioner Harriet Cross congratulated the country for joining the alliance and coalition, saying, “When we protect our natural environment, we protect people and animals and help develop resiliency to climate change in TT and globally.
“It is only through global alliances and cooperation that we can reach the target to protect at least 30 per cent of the global ocean by 2030.
“The UK reaffirms its commitment to working with TT to increase protection of its precious marine environment and wildlife.”
In a release the Ministry of Planning and Development noted that, “TT’s membership of the (alliance and coalition) will serve to benefit the country’s environment as well as its economic activity.”
Since 80 per cent of socio-economic activities and 70 per cent of the country’s population are located along the coast, becoming a member of the HAC, the release said, “will demonstrate multilateral and cooperative global leadership, and thereby afford TT a voice in advancing the need for support to achieve its own conservation and preservation objectives, and effective management of protected and conserved areas, including through financing efforts.”
The HAC for Nature and People is an inter-regional group, led by Costa Rica, France and the UK established to reverse the trend of biodiversity loss and revive ecosystems that are critical to the survival of species and humanity.
“It will also promote the integral role that additional terrestrial and marine protection must play in the mitigation of greenhouse gases under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” the release said.
“Scientific evidence indicates that effective protection of at least 30 per cent of the global ocean will help to reverse adverse impacts, preserve fish populations, increase resilience to climate change, and sustain long-term ocean health. It also serves as a good example of a nature-based solution/ecosystem-based approach.”
The release said Robinson-Regis and Cross share the view that the partnership will strengthen TT’s environmental goals.