30×30 Italia | Campaign by Worldrise


In November 2020, our Italian member organisation Worldrise launched campaign 30×30 Italia  – a national challenge, part of an international effort, with the ultimate goal of protecting 30% of the Italian territorial sea by 2030.

Worldrise is a non-profit organisation created by young professionals that develops projects to conserve and protect the marine environment through a path focused on awareness, creativity and education. The projects are coordinated and carried out with the involvement of the new generation, aiming to facilitate the acquisition of practical and professional knowledge and train the future stewards and ambassadors of the Mediterranean’s natural heritage. We promote pro-environment behavioral change, the (re)connection to nature and the sea and the importance of individual actions, because each one of us can be part of the solution.

The sea is the heart of the Planet: it provides 50% of the oxygen we breath, absorbs around 25% of carbon dioxide, regulates the climate, and is a source of employment and food for more than 4.3 billion people. The future of the Planet and of its inhabitants, including humankind, depends on a healthy Ocean and, therefore, on its protection. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are the most efficient tool for the safeguard of marine biodiversity and to guarantee sustainable development so that the beauties of the sea and its resources will be available for future generations. However, globally, only 7.56% of the Ocean is currently protected and less than 2% of it fully protected.

30×30 Italia is a national journey with international value: it aspires to communicate the importance of protecting the Mediterranean’s marine ecosystems through different social sectors to achieve the same scope of a known, respected, and protected Italian Sea. 

Such an ambitious yet necessary goal will be declined into 30 objectives intended to raise awareness, involve the local communities and empower the new generations as the future guardians of the Ocean. 30×30 Italy will provide institutions, the research sector and the private industry the guiding principles to synergically work together towards a healthier Italian sea.

Background and context

The Mediterranean Sea has an extraordinary biological richness being inhabited by over 17’000 species. This represents, depending on the available estimates, from 4 to 25% of the overall known marine species. That is, a biodiversity concentration about ten times higher than the world average.

Nevertheless, the Mediterranean is drastically changing: according to the FAO, it is the most overfished sea in the world, with more than 90% of the fishing stocks exceeding the sustainable level. Furthermore, the surface temperature has reached a peak value of 31°C, the highest in history, and in some areas, the concentration of microplastics approaches 10 kg/km2.

The role of MPAs

MPAs are the most efficient tool in our hands for the protection of marine biodiversity: a real savings account of the sea. In a well-managed MPA, marine biodiversity regenerates, increasing by 23%. The greater the biodiversity, the greater the resilience of the ecosystem, especially when threatened by climate change.

However, the benefits of MPAs are not just ecological ones but also translates into socio-economic benefits thus giving birth to the so-called Blue Economy. Today, MPAs cover only 9.7% of the Italian waters with the creation of just two new MPAs since 2012.

Act local think global

The campaign stems from the international scientific community, which, at the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), adopted the resolution to protect at least 30% of the Ocean by 2030. This target, supported by the Zero Draft of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, was recognized by the international scientific community as necessary to guarantee a future for our Ocean and humankind’s survival.

We have a huge responsibility, the decision that we will take in the next few years will shape the future of our planet for centuries to come. We need to act as a global community and look beyond our national borders. The marine protection of the high seas (only around 1% of high seas waters are highly protected) can play a key role in reaching a 30% target, helping to build ocean resilience to climate change, avoiding fisheries collapse, and preserving biodiversity. 

“You cannot protect the Ocean without solving climate change and you cannot solve climate change without protecting the ocean”: recently declared U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry at the Ocean-Climate Ambition Summit

As noted by more than 80 countries and the EU “Nature fundamentally underpins human health, wellbeing and prosperity. We need to appropriately value nature and the services it provides as we make decisions and recognize that the business case for biodiversity is compelling. The benefits of restoring natural resources outweigh the costs ten-fold, and the cost of inaction is even higher” ·  

The time to act is now!

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