The boundaries of Virunga Park in North Kivu, DRC. The country is one of the first to adopt the 30X30 biodiversiy target.
Photo: © Shutterstock/Eric Isselee

“30x30 target” a catalyst for inclusive biodiversity conservation

Through intensive dialogue between local communities and policy-makers and application of the IUCN Green List standard benchmarked to Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with funding from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), is promoting the 30x30 biodiversity target in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Congo Basin is home to the second largest rainforest in the world. About 60 per cent of this forest lies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which is the second largest tropical forested country in the world and has the greatest extent of tropical rainforests in Africa, covering more than 100 million hectares.

The DRC has an area of 2,345,409 km² and most of the Congo Basin, estimated at 3.7 million km². As an active player in environmental processes and climate mitigation, the DRC has made commitments under various conventions. The government is also committed to achieving, by 2030, the objective of at least 30 per cent of national spaces under protection status according to the recommendations of the 30x30 biodiversity initiative.

The 30x30 target as written in the Convention on Biological Diversity framework adopted in December 2022 during the 15th Convention of Parties in Canada explicitly describes that parties should:

  • “Ensure and enable that by 2030 at least 30 per cent of terrestrial, inland water, and of coastal and marine 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.” 

Aligned with the local policy, the project aims to demonstrate the local and global benefits of recognising OECMs and other conserved areas, including the “territories and areas conserved by indigenous peoples and local communities” or “territories of life” (ICCAs).

IUCN will support the government with local stakeholders in the elaboration of the 30x30 strategy with an emphasis on the recognition of OECMs and Indigenous People and Local Communities (IPLCs) rights.

During the 15th Convention of Parties in Canada in December 2022, IUCN and the National Delegation of the Democratic Republic of Congo had a working session on the project kick-off and its objectives, and aligned on the outcomes.



More information:

30 x 30 target IISD Website

30 – 30 biodiversity target




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