2030 Seagrass Breakthrough: A Crucial Step Towards Harnessing the Potential of Seagrass as a Nature-based Solution for climate, biodiversity and people

In recognition of World Seagrass Day, H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, United Nations (UN) Climate Change High-Level Champion and IUCN President, has delivered a speech emphasizing the unparalleled importance of seagrass ecosystems in sustaining life on our planet.

Seagrasses are the unsung heroes of our ocean, quietly sustaining life beneath the waves and playing a crucial role in supporting biodiversity, purifying water, maintaining the health of the marine environment worldwide, and mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration and storage.

These ecosystems are not just the lungs of our planet but also the foundations of a sustainable future” (Highlighted quote within text)

In response, a new and promising initiative—the 2030 Seagrass Breakthrough—is in the process of being established by the UN Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Office – Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions team. The CMS Office – Abu Dhabi made public announcement of the initiative in December 2023 at UNFCCC COP28, time when HE Mariam Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment at the time, publicly announced that the UAE would be joining the initiative. The CMS Office – Abu Dhabi also hosted a high-level dialogue to discuss the shaping of the 2030 Seagrass Breakthrough during that meeting. See more here.

The 2030 Seagrass Breakthrough is a groundbreaking endeavor that offers a framework for a diverse range of stakeholders worldwide to synchronize and accelerate their global pledges with grassroots and regional efforts.

The 2030 Seagrass Breakthrough is a statement of our commitment to the planet,” affirmed H.E. Razan Al Mubarak. “Aligned with the Paris Agreement, the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, and ambitious 30×30 targets, it represents our collective dedication to a resilient and sustainable future.”

The full speech is available to watch here.

Ms. Rouba Abou-Atieh, Executive Coordinator of CMS Office – Abu Dhabi notes that “Celebrating World Seagrass Day reminds us of the invaluable role seagrass ecosystems play in our planet’s health and biodiversity. Embracing the 2030 Seagrass Breakthrough is not just a commitment; it’s a catalyst for global action, aligning with crucial international agreements and initiatives, like the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and many others. Together, we can conserve, recover and protect these vital habitats for the benefit of present and future generations.”

The initiative marks a significant stride towards achieving global resilience for biodiversity, climate and livelihoods in the face of the Triple Planetary Crisis.

The first 2030 Seagrass Breakthrough Technical Workshop will be held on World Seagrass Day 2024, bringing together over 20 seagrass and marine conservation experts.

For more information see: 2030 Seagrass Breakthrough and 2030 Seagrass Breakthrough leaflet.