Kuala Lumpur (24 February 2022)--A new poll conducted in the biodiverse-rich nations of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines--three of the world’s 17 mega biodiverse countries--revealed overwhelming support for a global target to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030. Almost all respondents--96% in Malaysia, 98% in Indonesia and 95% in the Philippines--support the global goal, and 84% of Malaysians, 94% of Indonesians and 85% of Filipinos want their respective governments to also support the global target.
Commissioned by Atri Advisory, the survey was conducted by Vase.ai, a well established polling company in the region. Conducted over three days in February, the poll is the first-ever to measure public opinion in the three countries on the global 30x30 goal in the lead up to a major biodiversity summit later this year in Kunming, China. There, 190 countries--including Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines--are expected to finalize and approve a global strategy, known as the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), designed to stave off a biodiversity crisis that threatens up to one million species with extinction in the coming decades.
Negotiators from these countries will gather in-person in Geneva, Switzerland 13-29 March to iron out the details of the GBF, which includes a target to protect 30x30 as one of its central elements.
The High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People (HAC)--an intergovernmental coalition of more than 80 countries co-chaired by Costa Rica, France, and the UK is championing the 30x30 goal. Cambodia is the first and currently only HAC member from the ASEAN region. Other Asian members include Japan, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Maldives.
Overwhelming scientific evidence and economic data shows that conserving at least 30% of the planet’s land and ocean is a key way to help address global biodiversity loss--in addition to storing carbon, preventing future pandemics, bolstering economic growth, increasing fisheries’ production, and advancing Indigenous rights.
The economic benefits of conserving 30x30 are strong: an independent study prepared by more than 100 economists and experts found that meeting the 30% target will generate financial and ecosystem services benefits at least five times the cost.
The findings of the new opinion poll released today also include the following:
78% of Malaysians, 86% of Indonesians and 77% of Filipinos were highly or somewhat aware of the proposal to commit to protecting at least 30% of the planet by 2030.
"The survey reflects the staggering support of citizens in the region for their governments to endorse the proposal to protect 30% of the planet by 2030 and to take urgent steps to halt biodiversity loss. To do otherwise is not an option. It is incumbent upon our political leaders and policymakers to listen to the people and join the rest of the world in this crucial effort."
-- Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid, Chair, Atri Advisory and Science Advisor to the Campaign for Nature, and Founding Chair of Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
“Southeast Asia comprises just 3% of Earth’s land mass, but it contains almost 20% of the world’s biodiversity. This poll shows that people in the region fully appreciate the value of this biodiversity to our own development and appreciate the role we can play in preserving it. This poll is a public mandate for the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to embrace the 30x30 global goal.”
-- Dr Tony La Vina, Former Undersecretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Philippines and Associate Director for Climate Policy and International Relations of Manila Observatory
“The science is overwhelmingly clear: much more of our planet must be protected and time is running out. Now, the people are also incredibly clear that they support the proposal to protect at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030. 30x30 is ambitious, achievable, and a good first step towards addressing the crisis facing our natural world.”
-- Yongyuth Yuthavong, Senior Advisor to the President, National S&T Development Agency, NSTDA, and Former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Global Steering Committee member of Campaign for Nature
“This poll shows not only how broadly popular the 30x30 target is, but how important nature conservation is for younger generations in particular. We know what is at stake: our future. We hope that the Malaysian government will support this key global proposal and act with the urgency that youth across our country know is necessary.”
-- Datuk Ali Kadir, Chairman of Amanah Lestari Alam
"The Philippines is part of the center of biodiversity, but it's also at the center of environmental adversity. With the national elections just around the corner (May 2022), these numbers send a powerful message to our leaders that Filipinos have the future of nature in mind, and that we want them to listen and prioritize environmental protection in our national agenda. When we protect the environment, our economy thrives too."
-- Anna Oposa, Executive Director, Save Philippine Seas
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