The UK is the leader of the initiative, being the first country to call for a 30% target at United Nations General Assembly last year. The initiative is in line with the overall UK's action in protecting the environment and the ocean, with the country announcing a 50% protection of UK and Overseas Territories waters by 2020, and tackling the scourge of plastic that often ends up there, by introducing the 5p plastic bag charge and banning the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds from next April.

The 30by30 initiative has been supported by 30 countries up to now, including:

  1. Belize
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Finland
  4. Gabon
  5. Kenya
  6. Seychelles
  7. Vanuatu
  8. Portugal
  9. Palau
  10. Belgium

The Alliance will call for the initiative 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.

In June, UK's Prime Minister announced the expansion of the blue belt project with additional £7 million across the UK Overseas Territories.

In efforts to  protect the marine environment, the UK has a total of 355 marine protected areas in waters around Great Britain and Northern Ireland and an independent review is considering whether stronger protections should be introduced.

The commitment towards marine protection is in line with the country's 25-year environment plan, which aims to improve UK's environmental policy, by protecting ecosystems, species, oceans, as well as natural processes and functions.

Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers commented

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.