An article by the Council on Foreign Relations says:
Countries are expected to finalize an agreement that seeks to reverse the unprecedented destruction of nature during this year’s UN biodiversity conference in Montreal, COP15. One of the agreement’s twenty-one targets, known as 30×30, aims to protect at least 30 percent of the planet’s land and waters by 2030. That goal almost doubles the target for 2020 that was set through the UN process more than a decade ago. So far, nearly 16 percent of all land and inland waters have been protected, as have 8 percent of marine areas.
One of the main motivations for the goal is to protect biodiversity, which refers to the variety of all living things on Earth and the natural systems they form. In recent decades, animal populations have plummeted and more species have gone extinct than ever before. This loss has sweeping consequences for livelihoods, economic growth, medicine, food systems, and climate resilience. To put a price on it, the world lost $4–20 trillion per year [PDF] from 1997 to 2011 because of changes in how humans use land, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The United States is made up of a variety of ecosystems, including tundra, prairies, wetlands, forests, and deserts. It’s home to tens of thousands of native species. About 13 percent of U.S. land is protected, and President Joe Biden has pledged to achieve the 30×30 goal.
Biden’s plan, the America the Beautiful initiative, relies on state governments, Indigenous communities, and local groups to voluntarily conserve and restore land. It encourages the creation of new parks and wildlife corridors—and offers incentives to do so. To inform decision-making, the plan pushes for more research into areas that have high levels of biodiversity. It also expands the definition of “protected areas” to include sustainably managed farms, ranches, and areas for hunting.