A preliminary report to the National Climate Task Force dubbed Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful now breathes life into the ambitious campaign promises made by U.S. President Joe Biden. Soon after taking office, the president signed an executive order to conserve 30% of U.S. land and waters by 2030. To fulfill this promise, the new report offers solutions that are community-based.
According to a recent nationwide poll, four out of every five Americans support the move to protect 30% of the nation’s land and water resources by the end of the decade. Dubbed 30X30, the process is seen as the only way to restore damaged ecosystems and curb the climate crisis. Several conservation groups have already written in support of the 30×30 plan.
The report focuses on leading local campaigns to revitalize native ecosystems. In the words of the document, it proposes a “Ten-year, locally-led campaign to conserve and restore the lands and waters upon which we all depend, and that bind us together as Americans.”
To create the report, the Biden administration started by collecting the views of diverse communities. Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful has proposed eight key principles that must be used to attain sustainable restoration of the environment. The principles include inclusivity, conservation for the benefits of all, support for locally based solutions, pursuit for economic development, respect for property rights, respect to tribal sovereignty, reliance on science, and flexibility in attaining all of these. Further, the report proposes an approach that will be based on scientific knowledge and guidance from Indigenous communities.
“All communities should have equitable access to nearby green space, the ability to reach it, and features that honor and welcome diverse languages, inclusive histories, and uses of parkland,” the Hispanic Access Foundation said in the report. “Natural areas and natural resources should be managed inclusively and locally, reflecting the communities they serve, with co-management by Indigenous and tribal nations.”
Central to the success of the program is the need for collaboration among the federal, state and local governments, all of which are expected to provide the tools, policies and frameworks to implement the key pillars of the report.
Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful will become an annual report that outlines the progress made toward the 30×30 goal.
Image via Eric Vaughn