The world is facing a biodiversity crisis. In the coming decades, a million of the Earth’s species face the possibility of extinction due to climate change, pollution, and habitat loss. Even species that are not yet on the brink will face huge population declines. This extinction crisis means fewer pollinators for agriculture, depleted fisheries, and disappearing places like old growth forests and wetlands that provide a long-term, low-cost source of clean air and water. This crisis threatens not only the plants and animals that we know and love, but all of us. Our fate is inextricably linked with the ecosystems that the world’s species depend on. The Biden administration can lead the U.S. in reversing the biodiversity crisis but it must act now.
World leaders recently committed to protect 30% of the world’s lands and oceans by 2030. At this pivotal moment, the Biden administration must focus on actions the U.S. can take in the next two years to protect biodiversity. It must act now to restore, fully fund, and enforce the Endangered Species Act, protect 30% of our land and waters by 2030, create new protections for mature and old-growth forests, ensure protections for wetlands, and make sure that resources provided in the Inflation Reduction Act are used to support the recovery of our most imperiled species and the protection of the places they call home.
We cannot delay. Across the globe, momentum is growing to address the biodiversity crisis. We must ensure that the United States implements every initiative at its disposal to expand the safety net for life on this planet.