News | 19 Dec, 2023

IUCN Launches Ambitious Act30 Initiative for Inclusive Conservation in the Mediterranean at COP23

Portorož, Slovenia, December 7, 2023 - The IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation proudly introduced the Act30 initiative in the Mediterranean during the recent meeting of the parties of the Barcelona Convention (COP23) in Slovenia. The Act30 initiative aims to spearhead inclusive conservation action, striving for a minimum of 30% conservation to ensure our planet’s fair and effective environmental protection.

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Photo: Act30


Held in Portorož (Slovenia), from December 5th to 8th, this year’s Barcelona Convention Conference of Parties aimed to transition from plans and programmes to tangible actions, fostering a prosperous and sustainable Mediterranean. Originating from the United Nation’s Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP), the Barcelona Convention stands as the sole regional multilateral legal framework dedicated to safeguarding the Mediterranean marine and coastal environment. Contracting Parties commit to proactive measures, aligning with the Convention and Protocols, to combat pollution, preserve the marine environment, and contribute to its sustainable development.

The Act30 initiative, a global collaboration involving governments, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities, seeks to chart diverse and effective pathways for conserving 30% of the planet for future generations. Developed by IUCN in partnership with the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB) and GIS provider Esri, Act30 scales up conservation approaches, blending scientific evidence and traditional knowledge with advanced mapping capacities and spatial assessment tools.

The initiative will work closely with countries to create and execute participatory, effective, and equitable roadmaps for species and habitat conservation. Act30 is committed to supporting governments that have pledged to achieve the 30x30 target outlined in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). By leveraging Target 3 of the GBF, the initiative encourages Parties to explore Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs), emphasising the recognition of indigenous and traditional territories.

With only 15% of land and 7.4% of oceans currently protected under official laws, there is an urgent need for substantial progress at local and national levels to meet the global conservation goal while respecting indigenous and traditional territories. IUCN will embark on this journey by collaborating with its State members.

The Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation of IUCN will play a pivotal role in supporting the Act30 initiative in the Mediterranean region. The first crucial step will involve establishing a science-policy working group on Area-based Conservation organised within the Dialogue4Nature initiative. Operating under the Natural Heritage Mission of the Interreg Euro-MED Programme, Dialogue4Nature strives to protect, restore and valorise natural resources in the Mediterranean area. The Mission aims to upscale knowledge and results from the European level, transferring and mainstreaming them into effective policies.

For those interested in contributing to the Act30 initiative in the Mediterranean and supporting the global goal of conserving 30% of the planet by 2030, please contact Carla Danelutti at for further information.