The Government’s report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) on progress with current targets and commitments was published in March. It can be viewed at: http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-7731
Of the 19 targets assessed, 5 were on track and 14 showed progress though at an insufficient rate. The targets are multi-faceted and global in scope. As such not all targets can be achieved by individual countries alone; they require collective action. Target 10, for example, requires countries to minimize anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs and other vulnerable ecosystems. The UK is making progress with protecting coral reefs and restoring other vulnerable ecosystems such as peatland, but they remain vulnerable to climate change. The real value of the targets is in driving positive change across the world and the report sets out clear areas of progress in the UK on which we are determined to build.
Domestic biodiversity policy is a devolved matter and the information provided relates to England only, except in relation to our plans internationally.
On land, over 93% of our protected sites, covering over 1 million hectares, are now in good condition or have management in place to restore their condition. Over the last 2 years, we have already introduced funding for peatland ecosystem restoration and woodland expansion as a contribution to climate change mitigation. At sea, we are putting management measures in place to protect existing MPAs and expanding our network of sites. We have consulted on a third tranche of 41 Marine Conservation Zones. Sites to be designated will be in place by 7 June. Our agencies and non-Departmental bodies are working on species recovery projects with landowning and conservation partners, for example on freshwater pearl mussel, short-haired bumblebee and stone curlew.
The ongoing declines in nature are a global problem that need a global solution. That is why the UK is committed to playing a leading role in developing a global post-2020 framework under the CBD that is ambitious and transformational. Our Darwin Initiative supports global action by providing grants to protect biodiversity and the natural environment, with £10.6 million awarded in 2018. The UK Government has committed to protecting the ocean, and has called for at least 30 per cent of the ocean to be in MPAs by 2030.