Green Pulse Podcast: Hitting the target - can we save nature in time?

Los Angeles Refinery Wilmington Plant stands on November 28, 2022 in Wilmington, California. PHOTO: AFP

Synopsis: Every first and third Monday of the month, The Straits Times analyses the beat of the changing environment, from biodiversity conservation to climate change.

At the recent COP15 United Nations biodiversity conference in Canada, nearly 200 nations agreed on a series of targets that aim to halt and eventually reverse the loss of nature. The “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework” includes four goals and 23 targets for achievement by 2030.

Striking the deal for nature was years in the making and urgent. Deforestation, over-fishing, poaching, pollution and climate change have taken a heavy toll on nature in recent decades, leading to sharp declines in wild animal species and escalating rates of extinctions. About a million species are at risk of extinction, many within decades, the United Nations’ biodiversity science panel has said. 

One of the key targets agreed was conserving and managing at least 30 per cent of the world’s land and marine areas by 2030 -- or 30 x 30. It’s a huge challenge – currently about 17 per cent of land and 10 per cent of marine areas are under some form of protection.

In this episode, we speak to Dr Zeng Yiwen from the Centre for Nature-based Climate Solutions at the National University of Singapore. Dr Zeng and his colleagues have looked at what’s needed to achieve the 30 x 30 goal and the funding needed. 

Highlights of conversation (click/tap above):

1:35 How bad are things in the natural world?

3:07 Tell us more about the 30 x 30 goal?

4:40 It’s the quality, not the quantity, of the land being conserved that matters.

7:24 What did COP15 decide on financing to help nature?

8:52 What can highly urbanised nations, such as Singapore, do to help meet the global 30 x 30 target?

Produced by: David Fogarty (, Ernest Luis and Hadyu Rahim

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim

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