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A National Coalition Has a Plan for How Biden Can Make Major Conservation Progress in the Next Two Years

This page was published a year ago. Find the latest on Earthjustice’s work.

Two years ago, President Biden set an ambitious conservation goal to protect 30% of US lands, waters, and ocean by 2030 to avoid mass extinction and to secure equitable access to nature’s benefits. With his term half over and a biodiversity crisis bearing down on us, there’s no time to lose.

We’re excited to announce the launch of the America the Beautiful for All Coalition‘s policy agenda to ensure we meet that goal. This group consists of 150 organizations working to ensure that we conserve a network of lands and waters, which will give us the best chance of curbing climate change’s worst effects. This is the largest and most diverse coalition ever assembled for the most ambitious conservation goal ever set in the United States. Earthjustice is proud to join the coalition with our president, Abigail Dillen, sitting on the steering committee.

The America the Beautiful for All Coalition is launching a policy agenda to ensure we meet the goal of protecting 30% of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030. 

  • On the second anniversary of this first-of-its-kind conservation goal, the coalition is releasing 20 collaborative policy recommendations to drive progress forward on saving nature and fighting climate change.
  • The policy agenda sets out clear direction and sparks abundant opportunities for Tribal governments, federal agencies, and the communities they serve to devise conservation that addresses the most pressing climate and resource concerns at the local level.
  • The agenda is built from a diversity of communities that are experiencing the impacts of nature loss and climate change close to home. Their local projects knit together to create shared national outcomes for 30×30.

The “30×30” initiative is an effective plan for fighting the ongoing biodiversity crisis.  

  • Scientists predict that on our current trajectory of habitat loss and climate change, nearly 40% of all species may face extinction by 2100.
  • By conserving at least 30% of our lands, fresh water and ocean by 2030, people and wildlife can better adapt to the impacts of a rapidly changing climate.
  • Protected nature—like wetlands and coasts—buffers communities and wildlife against the most severe effects of a changing climate.
  • Specifically, the coalition is calling for the passage of a 2023 Farm Bill that invests in the conservation of key habitats, supporting marine protected areas, phasing out offshore drilling, and more.

A key recommendation is that at least 40% of the administration’s conservation investments should be made in communities of color and frontline communities.  

  • The America the Beautiful for All Coalition is supporting a Justice40 metric to ensure substantial investments are made in communities of color and frontline communities that have historically seen underinvestment in conservation and equitable access to nature.
  • Systemic inequities put people of color at the center of environmental injustices. They are often the first to feel the brunt of climate change impacts and the last to receive resources.
  • The coalition is supporting increased opportunities for co-management and co-stewardship of public lands and waters with Tribes, Native Hawaiians, Alaska Natives, and Territories.
  • We are also encouraging the Biden administration to target funds from the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to underserved and marginalized communities; and to reform the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to better serve frontline and disadvantaged communities.

The 30×30 initiative aligns with  two of Earthjustice’s primary goals: Protecting biodiversity and building a justice-centered environmental movement

  • To sustain the Earth’s biodiversity and meet the goals of Earthjustice’s Biodiversity Defense Program, we’ll need new protections and better enforcement of existing ones.
  • We also recognize that any meaningful response to environmental problems must center the communities that are most damaged by them.
  • By proposing policy solutions on both these fronts, the 30×30 initiative can make significant progress forward in saving nature, fighting climate change, and ensuring a healthy future for our communities.
A lone wolf howls across hills and valleys in the upper Midwest.
A lone wolf howls across hills and valleys in the upper Midwest. (Jerry & Barb Jividen / Getty Images)