The Biden-Harris administration in the U.S. has launched a new conservation plan, named the “America the Beautiful” initiative, which will implement community led conservation efforts and safeguard the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
The plan is based on a report which gave recommendations that will look to work towards a locally led and voluntary nationwide conservation goal to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.
Central to the new initiative is a focus on Tribal and indigenous peoples, with the aim of supporting local and voluntary restoration efforts on Tribal lands and waters, in addition to private and public areas, in order to create jobs and stimulate the economy. On top of this, one of the main principles contained in the report includes a need to better honour Tribal sovereignty going forward.
The plan also commits to supporting the voluntary conservation efforts of farmers, ranchers, and fishers, who are all key stakeholders and users of natural resources around the country.
By mobilising these individuals, the plan will not only support users of wildlife and the socio-economic benefits associated with wildlife use, it will also help to ensure that any such activities are conducted in a sustainable manner as well.
Furthermore, the initiative will look to tackle inequitable access to the outdoors in the U.S., something which the current administration has already been addressing since they came into office.
Looking to implement a locally led approach with this new conservation plan is perhaps the most important aspect of this news. By supporting locally led and locally designed conservation efforts, this will make use of local knowledge and expertise and allow for a balanced distribution of funds and resources for conservation and restoration efforts across the whole country.
The CIC congratulates the Biden-Harris administration for recognising the importance of community led conservation efforts and indigenous peoples, as well as the need to mobilise wildlife users, as part the America the Beautiful conservation plan.