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Government announces global alliance to protect world’s oceans
The 30by30 initiative is aiming for at least 30 per cent of the global ocean to be protected in Marine Protected Areas by 2030.

Initiative aims for at least a third of oceans to be safeguarded by 2030

The UK government has announced a new global alliance to help protect the world’s oceans and its wildlife.

The 30by30 initiative is aiming for at least 30 per cent of the global ocean to be protected in Marine Protected Areas (MPA) by 2030. It has so far been supported by 10 countries, including Belize, Costa Rica, Finland, Gabon, Kenya, Seychelles, Vanuatu, Portugal, Palau and Belgium.


Ministers say the protections will help seahorses, turtles and corals to thrive, and will help fight climate change by protecting key carbon habitats such as mangrove forests and seagrass meadows. 


Environment secretary, Theresa Villiers said: “The UK is taking a world-leading approach to marine conservation and is on track to safeguard nearly 50 per cent of our precious marine habitats. But we are determined to go further.

“The world’s ocean is a shared resource, sustaining lives and livelihoods and supporting 80 per cent of our blue planet’s biodiversity. Only by working together can we protect and restore our marine environment for future generations to come.”


The Global Alliance will also call for the 30by30 ambition to be adopted at the next Convention on Biological Diversity conference in China and introduced into international law through the High Seas Treaty in 2020.


The UK is leading the way on this issue, having been the first country to call for a global 30 per cent target at the United Nations General Assembly last year.

Welcoming the move, Will McCallum, head of oceans at Greenpeace UK, said: “If the Government is serious about meeting this target, a strong Global Ocean Treaty must be agreed by the United Nations next year. 


“We hope to see this coalition of countries calling for real ambition, by ensuring the treaty has powers to establish, manage and most importantly protect a global network of ocean sanctuaries, completely off-limits to human exploitation. This would give sensitive parts of our oceans the space and time they need to recover and thrive.


He continued: “However, our oceans do not exist in isolation. It’s vital that our Government’s commitments on ocean protection are matched by other actions, both at home and abroad, to radically transform the global economy away from fossil fuels and other destructive industries, to stand a chance of tackling the climate emergency.”

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.