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The Nature Conservancy Applauds Gov. Newsom’s Executive Order on Biodiversity and Climate Change

Natural and Working Lands Critical to the Fight Against Climate Change

California Forest
California Forest Carbon Cache California Forest © Kevin Arnold

As we now watch yet another climate change exacerbated, record-breaking fire season unfold in California, The Nature Conservancy strongly supports Governor Newsom's latest Executive Order to actively conserve California’s natural and working lands to fight climate change and preserve biodiversity.

The Governor’s Executive Order recognizes the critical role that the stewardship of California’s natural and working lands plays in achieving our climate change, air quality, sustainable water management, equity and biodiversity goals building on the legislative leadership of Assembly Members Robert Rivas and Ash Kalra who authored bills to advance this outcome earlier this year.

We welcome the opportunity to engage with stakeholders to achieve the Governor's biodiversity and climate objectives which include meaningful protections of land, marine and freshwater ecosystems, with the goal of ensuring conservation of 30% targets for these ecosystems by 2030. At the same time, we recognize that a wider dialogue is essential to achieve multi-benefit conservation and greenhouse gas reduction goals.

In order to accomplish these ambitious goals, the State must  reorder current priorities and funding commitments. Most immediately, it must define a clear and ambitious goal for the role of California’s natural and working lands to achieve climate and biodiversity priorities. We look forward to joining Governor Newsom in this important undertaking and believe that the following actions are critical for success: 

  1. Double state and federal funding for wildfire risk reduction activities including forest restoration and prescribed fire;
  2. Prioritize funding for natural and working lands, including a climate resilience bond, scaled to meet the climate and water resilience challenges in front of us;
  3. Collaborate with stakeholders to shape land use policies so they prioritize and include incentives for land management and conservation to achieve climate, biodiversity and additional benefits at the local level; and
  4. Develop additional policies, metrics and incentives to meet climate, clean air, and environmental justice needs and advance a more equitable, sustainable California for all.

TNC looks forward to partnering with the Newsom administration to advance progress on this important Executive Order to conserve California’s natural and working lands to fight climate change and preserve biodiversity for people and nature.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.