UNITED NATIONS, June 8 (Xinhua) -- British billionaire Sir Richard Branson presented a petition to UN General Assembly President on Thursday, urging governments to protect at least 30 percent of the ocean by 2030.
The founder of Virgin Group, also a famous investor and philanthropist, presented the petition backed by over 1 million citizens from around the world to Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly, at the United Nations Oceans Conference urging governments to act.
The commitment was made in September 2016 at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, where 180 governments and over 600 NGOs voted to strongly protect at least a third of the world's ocean by 2030.
"Now citizens are calling on governments to execute on this," Branson said.
"The Ocean covers two thirds of the planet yet today less than 3 percent is strongly protected. The science says we need to protect at least 30 percent," said Branson.
"Through this petition, over 1 million people from around the world have called for action to reach this ambitious target. I am pleased to add my voice and look forward to working with political and business leaders and citizens to make it a reality," he said.
The UN Ocean Conference is taking place at UN headquarters in New York from June 5 to 9, coinciding with World Oceans Day, which falls on June 8.
Co-chaired by Fiji and Sweden, the Conference aims to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Enditem