Together We Can Do Hard Things: On the Road to 30x30
Today at the White House the most important conservation bill in a generation was signed into law: the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). This sweeping bill which passed with significant bi-partisan support will provide funds necessary to help create, maintain and expand state and local parks across the country. It is the kind of bold conservation legislation that is needed to help us meet the twin challenges of the nature crisis and climate change.
To prevent mass extinctions and bolster resilience to climate change, scientists warn that we must protect at least 30 percent of our lands, rivers, lakes, wetlands and ocean by 2030. This bold and necessary vision will preserve the integrity of ecosystems on which we all depend, provide safe havens to help wildlife adapt to climate change, and sustain natural systems that store carbon, such as forests, mangroves, seagrasses, wetlands, and grasslands.
We know that reaching this 30x30 goal will take bold action. We also know that we will need to use all the tools in our conservation tool kit: creating new protected lands, improving the management of existing public lands, and providing incentives for conservation-based management of private lands that are rich in natural resources and biodiversity.
The funding sources created by and through the GAOA are a critical first step on the path towards achieving this vision and will be instrumental in helping the United States do our part to protect 30% of the world’s lands, inland waters and ocean areas by 2030.
The bill signed today is proof that Americans can work together to do great things when much is at stake—and is a good sign that we can work together to protect 30% of nature by 2030—just ten short years away.