Nearly every country on Earth just agreed to protect 30 percent of the planet

Officials sit in a row on a stage.
A plenary meeting during the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal, Quebec, on December 19th, 2022. | Photo by LARS HAGBERG/AFP via Getty Images

More than 190 countries agreed to protect 30 percent of Earth’s lands and waters by the end of the decade at the UN Biodiversity Conference. The historic deal was struck before sunrise today following nearly two weeks of negotiations in Montreal.

Each country adopted the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which commits them to achieving over 20 environmental targets by 2030. Altogether, the framework is supposed to stop human beings from driving species to extinction, preserve the planet’s genetic diversity, and ensure that the benefits of that biodiversity are used sustainably and equitably.

One of the biggest and most controversial parts of the deal is the provision to “protect” at least 30 percent of land, inland water,…

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Author: Justine Calma