KAUST participated in the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022. During the conference, approximately 190 nations reached a historic deal for nature in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. The countries agreed to four goals and 23 targets, including protecting 30 percent of the world’s land, water, and marine areas by 2030, commonly known as 30 by 30. This is an aspirational goal to protect the planet.
At the event, the Coral Research and Development Accelerator Platform (CORDAP), a G20-led initiative for which KAUST serves as the Central Node, played a key role in advocating for urgent coral reef action among policymakers and leaders. In addition to hosting panels and participating in discussions and workshops, CORDAP experts, led by Distinguished Professor Carlos Duarte, discussed the importance of coral reefs and how different parties can work together to prevent further damage.
COP15 is an important event on the road to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 14 and 15, which include protecting all life below water and on land. Ahead of COP15, CORDAP contributed to SDG 14 by releasing a white paper, in collaboration with several parties, providing recommendations for governments, funders, conservation organizations, and stakeholders on how to meet 30 by 30 targets through promoting the persistence, survival, and, where necessary, the restoration of coral reefs to secure the valuable ecosystem services that they provide.
Sustainability and protection of Saudi Arabia’s natural environment are at the core of Vision 2030. Together with KAUST, the Kingdom is leading the way in conserving and maintaining its pristine marine biodiversity and has created at least 15 sanctuaries to protect endangered species and biodiversity in recent years.
Find more about the work of CORDAP here