The Global Ocean Alliance (GOA) is a 77-country alliance, led by the UK. The GOA champions ambitious ocean action, particularly within the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including the 30by30 ocean target and other targets in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
The United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity is an international forum dedicated to the conservation and sustainable use of the world’s biodiversity. The UK has been a Party to the CBD since 1994.
In 2022, the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was agreed by 196 countries at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention (COP15). The new framework sets a global mission to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, to be delivered through 4 goals (2050) and 23 targets (2030).
All Parties to the CBD must now take domestic action to fully and effectively implement the GBF. This will require deciding how to implement these global targets domestically and supporting other Parties to contribute to the delivery of global targets and goals.
The Global Ocean Alliance
The ocean contains over 90% of all the habitable space on the planet and is home to a wide range of incredible biodiversity, from microscopic krill to giant blue whales. The ocean is essential for all life on Earth and is responsible for over half of the oxygen we breath, sustaining 3.5 billion people as their primary food source, and the foundation for coastal economies around the world.
Yet the ocean has historically been underrepresented in the CBD. The GOA provides an important space to champion ocean action within the CBD. The GOA was established in 2019 and helped to successfully secure an ambitious and meaningful outcome for the ocean at the CBD COP15 in 2022.
This included the inclusion of Target 3, known as the ‘30by30’ target. This ambitious target commits Parties to effectively conserve and manage at least 30% of the global ocean (marine and coastal areas) by 2030, through a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Other Effective Area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs).
The GOA continues to place a spotlight on ocean issues within the CBD and beyond, including to support the implementation of the GBF in the ocean with member countries. To do this, the GOA will undertake activities such as facilitating the exchange of information and best practice, signposting tools and resources, and hosting technical and political events.
Global Ocean Alliance members
There are currently 77 members:
Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan , Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mauritania, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Niue, Norway, Palau, Panama, Portugal, Qatar, São Tomé and Príncipe, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Spain, South Korea, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Sweden, The Gambia, The Philippines, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
Join the Global Ocean Alliance
We invite all countries to join the Global Ocean Alliance to show their support for the implementation of Global Biodiversity Framework targets in the ocean.
For more information, please contact us at: InternationalMarine@defra.gov.uk
Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Agreement
It is important that areas outside national jurisdiction are included in the delivery of the 30by30 global target. That is why the UK was pleased to be one of the first of 81 signatories to the new Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, or BBNJ Agreement.
The BBNJ Agreement is a historic agreement for biodiversity and will mean much greater protection for the two-thirds of the global ocean that lies beyond national jurisdiction. It will play a key role supporting the delivery of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, including helping to achieve the target to effectively conserve and manage at least 30% of the ocean by 2030. The UK will ratify the Agreement as soon as possible and work with global partners to ensure it is implemented quickly and effectively.
Global Ocean Alliance and the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People
The Global Ocean Alliance supports implementation of the 30% marine target and other targets under the GBF for the ocean whereas the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People supports 30by30 for both the land and the ocean. They are complementary alliances. The co-chairs of the HAC, Costa Rica and France, are members of the Global Ocean Alliance.
The alliances work together closely to make sure both groups work in harmony to increase reach and impact, as well as to reduce any duplication of effort.
If you are a member of the HAC or are considering joining the HAC, we would urge you to join the Global Ocean Alliance too, given the underrepresentation of the marine environment in the CBD.
Joint initiatives: cooperation and collaboration
The GOA and HAC are also committed to working closely with the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature (LPN). This collaboration was crucial to achieving an ambitious GBF and the 30by30 target.
There have been a number of recent initiatives led by the three coalitions, including the following.
The CBD Pre COP, August 2021
This event, hosted by Colombia, saw the UK joined by over 100 countries from across the HAC, GOA and LPN to endorse a joint statement of ambition. The statement urged all governments to join these important coalitions and work together to achieve ambitious outcomes from CBD COP15. Read the full PreCOP statement.
Transformative Action for Nature and People, September 2021
The GOA, HAC and LPN worked together to deliver a high-level event at the United Nations General Assembly. The event showcased ambitious actions and announcements in support of biodiversity. This included the launch of the $5 billion ‘Protecting Our Planet Challenge’, which will support efforts to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. Read the co-hosts’ summary of this event.
High-level Side Events
At the 76th UN General Assembly in September 2021, the GOA, HAC and LPN worked together to deliver a high-level side event to showcase ambitious actions and announcements in support of biodiversity. This event, ‘Transformative Action for Nature & People’ included the launch of the $5 billion ‘Protecting Our Planet Challenge’, which will support efforts to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. Read the co-hosts’ summary of this event.
In 2022, at the 77th UN General Assembly, the GOA, HAC and LPN worked together to deliver ‘Countdown to CBD COP15: Landmark Leaders’ Event for a Nature Positive World’. This official side event was attended by over 200 high level dignitaries and watched by over 1500 viewers online. During the event, leaders sent a clear message that an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), is a top priority, and welcomed further announcements of support for successful implementation of the GBF. Read the co-hosts’ summary of the event.
In September 2023 at the 78th UN General Assembly, the GOA, HAC and LPN once again worked together to deliver a high-level event on transformational actions to tackle biodiversity loss: ‘From Ambition to Action’. Building on the recent milestone agreements of the GBF and BBNJ Agreement, high level participants showcased their domestic and international work to translate this ambition into transformational and tangible action – from significant new funding, to major ecosystem restoration projects.