The UN Biodiversity Summit was held on September 30th and nearly 30 Heads of State from around the world expressed their commitment to protecting at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030 (30×30). We can secure this ambition if the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopts a target on 30×30 during its 15th Conference of the Parties in Kunming, China, next Autumn (dates pending due to COVID-19). Meanwhile, community efforts in countries like Palau and Chile have resulted in each nation already protecting over 30% of the marine area nationwide. This is not only a strong sign that the global ambition is achievable, but that it is imperative to support livelihoods, protect cultural heritage, and ensure food security. Panel participants will hear first-hand accounts on the successful efforts to designate and implement Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Palau and Rapa Nui (Easter Island), as well as evidence illustrating why increasing protection and conservation coverage makes a blue recovery from COVID-19 possible.